It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Mars Rover gets 'wash' from unknown source, improved performance

page: 1
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:04 PM
link   
I'm almost positive that there's already a thread that covers this story... or that mentioned this oddity when it was first detected... but I couldn't find it in a Boolean search...

Anyways... the Mars rovers run on solar power. This means that they were given maximum life expectations before their missions even began. Why? Because dust on the planet's surface was expected to build up on their solar panels and eventually 'choke' the power out of them. This has happened with other mars probes and was observed happening here...


...and then some 'thing' apparently began cleaning the dust off of those solar panels. This cleaning has now brought Oppurtunity back up to almost optimal power levels... and, most interestingly, this 'cleaning' has only occured at night:

www.msnbc.msn.com...

"It said something -- or someone -- had regularly cleaned layers of dust from the solar panels of the Mars Opportunity vehicle while it was closed down during the Martian night.
The cleaning had boosted the panels' power output close to their maximum 900 watt-hours per day after at one stage dropping to 500 watt-hours because of the heavy Martian dirt."

Now... if this were just wind cleaning off the panels, why hasn't it worked on other probes... and how could it work well enough to bring this rover back up to almost full power?

Do I think a little green man is doing this? No...

But, if the government discovered something interesting on mars and wanted to wait until after the election to reveal it... I can see why they would want to create a little fiction about how one of the rover's could have 'discovered' oddity X long after it was expected to die out. Assuming that no one really is cleaning off these panels... my guess is that Oppurtunity discovered something in the spring that the gov didn't want released until after the election. Saying that the rover has been miraculously kept up to optimum performance gives the gov a cover for releasing this story at a later date.


[edit on 21-12-2004 by onlyinmydreams]




posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:24 PM
link   
Very interesting indeed. Did they get Mercedes Benz to build them some solar panel wipers?

I am having trouble imagining what the government would not want revealed by a Mars rover prior to election, unless Osama is up there. Hey maybe he's the person cleaning off the solar panels.

Seriously though, it is quite curious as to how the panels of this one probe have been "cleaned". Perhaps they have used a new type of anti static material that keeps the dust from sticking.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:29 PM
link   
What about an evening breeze that may be created from temp differentuals?

I also read on the mars site that one of the stuck wheels mysterourly become "unstuck" and usable again.....

marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov...

The amount of electric current drawn by the motor on the right front wheel is in the normal range. Near the end of Spirit's long series of drives from "Bonneville Crater" to the "Columbia Hills," the right front wheel began to draw roughly twice the current of the other five wheels.

The increased current prompted engineers to limit the use of this wheel to preserve its life. Since arriving at the hills, Spirit has had relatively few driving days. The rover team's current working theory on this problem suggests that the recent rest periods have allowed the lubricant in this wheel to redistribute, causing the current draw to return to normal.





[edit on 21-12-2004 by Netchicken]



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:29 PM
link   
Its interesting that the US Rovers on Mars have had such good fortune, and the UK Beagle 2 was such a failure.
Maybe the inhabitants of Mars were given a payoff by the US



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:33 PM
link   
this story really intrigued me, the cleaning events are still a mystery.

the rovers have already given us an incredible amount of scientific data.

for the project heads to say this is a mystery, is interesting indeed.


news.bbc.co.uk...
www.jpl.nasa.gov...


i am curious to know how much nasa can give the media before they breach any security agreements.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 05:38 PM
link   
The kids on mars come out at night to play with there faveret earth toy and mom checks to be sure they cleaned it of any evadence showing they are there befor morning so as the ERK man dont chech on that THEY LIVE.
Auto Rover wash set up by enterprizing folks of mars Two for one rover special this week only 3 kilesglogs.
Lets see run by a bunch of Nasa nurds who have never seen an earth girl find mars girls doing rover washes for there cheer team im sure you can figer out the rest.
O and a mars quick lube for thouse pesky tires that need there 1200 foot oil change.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 07:11 PM
link   
DAMN IT! I was just gonna post about that!!!

story.news.yahoo.com.../nm/20041221/sc_nm/science_mars_dc

Here is the story on yahoo...

Well now...it was quite interesting...



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 07:52 PM
link   
hmm, well, as they say in a scary movie before someone gets killed, "its just the wind".

This is impressive, I wonder how long they will last. They have almost hit a year. The future Mars rover will be nuclear power, they chose that because they thought it would be the only way to stay operational on Mars for a full martian year, which is almost 2 earth years. But it seems that solar power could last 2 years as well.

BTW, good jod to Nasa & JPL.

[edit on 21-12-2004 by Murcielago]



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 08:09 PM
link   
Could be the squeegee man




I'm gonna make a real guess though, and say that it might be an electrostatic effect. Dryness, and the movement of the "air" at night. Both of these Rovers are in locations that are pretty flat, and are known for the formation of Dust Devils, which can build up huge electrostatic charges.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 08:30 PM
link   

Originally posted by spacedoubt
Could be the squeegee man




I'm gonna make a real guess though, and say that it might be an electrostatic effect. Dryness, and the movement of the "air" at night. Both of these Rovers are in locations that are pretty flat, and are known for the formation of Dust Devils, which can build up huge electrostatic charges.


Makes sense to me, however I prefer the theory someone -- had regularly cleaned layers of dust from the solar panels of the Mars Opportunity vehicle while it was closed down during the Martian night.

Who knows and who cares? The important point is they are working that is all that counts. The more we learn now, the more we know what to expect if and when we travel to mars.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 08:35 PM
link   
Howdy SHOTS,

Don't think we've ever crossed paths around here!

I DO think it is important to know what is causing this, maybe it can be designed into the craft somehow, if we know the nature of this.

I'm also glad Opportunity is heading over to take a look at the heatshield hardware. Might learn something there too...


SPACE



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 08:35 PM
link   
Another theory...The night time frost that they witnessed on the rovers 'unsticks' and 'lifts' the built up dust then the wind carries it off.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 08:44 PM
link   
I am not well informed on the technical side of this matter, but I am starting to get curious about how realistic this sort of luck is.
At what point would we have to start wondering if NASA was faking this extended life?
Things hanging in there is one thing- but everything that goes wrong eventually just heals itself? Not even my truck does that- and I swear to god my truck is so old that it is ALIVE and it is WIERD.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 09:14 PM
link   
allright The Vagabond, stop right there, before you start having people think the rover landings are a hoax, and they (like the moon) were all staged inside a large hangar.


I honestly believe that it is the wind.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 10:01 PM
link   

Originally posted by balrog
Another theory...The night time frost that they witnessed on the rovers 'unsticks' and 'lifts' the built up dust then the wind carries it off.

I guess that would all depend on what the frost was. Water vapor, if it condenses on a surface covered in dust, will stick and make mud when it melts. Perhaps some other element could be the source of the frost.

I live in the desert, and I know that when the humidity is very low, the amount of static electricity goes up. So static plus dust makes for some extermly dusty surfaces. If the air becomes more moist, say around 40 - 50 percent humidity, and a breeze comes up, the dust could be loosened.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 10:33 PM
link   
Well... here's why I think that something's being delayed:

1) The ESA's Mars Express probe has a radar that can look underground. Its deployment kept getting pushed back until after the election. As I write I have no idea what its current status is... but I did start another thread about that on ATS that linked to the ESA update page. I'll try to find it again after I post here... but I have a feeling it will talk about how this experiment is being delayed.

2)The notion that the Martian atmosphere contains more methane than what would be expected from normal geological activity has been floating around for months... but this very important discovery has not made it into the mainstream media.

3)The photograph of the mystery contrail -- the one that clearly showed a contrail flying above one of the probes -- made waves among scientific circles for a while but then was totally dropped... even though most scientists concluded that it was not caused by an old, decaying Viking orbiter component.

4)The next Mars probe is being built in cooperation with a US spy agency.

Now... am I saying that all those things ad up to a conspiracy that involves little green men who dust off rovers? No... what I'm saying is that, based on what the public already knows, there's a lot of evidence that supports the idea that some form of life currently exists on mars... and that larger life forms may have had a chance there in the past. Such a statement by a government agency COULD have caused social problems if it came out at the same time that the US was undergoing an extremely stress-filled election cycle (an election cycle that has resulted in old friends not talking to each other, in some cases).

Now... if the public was told that there was evidence for even micrbial life on mars at the same time that:
1)oddities were being photographed in the martian sky
2)oddities were being detected beneath the surface
3)people were continuing to report alien abductions
and
4)a high stakes election was going on...

...a public panic might have occured. By waiting, both NASA and the ESA get to 'spread out' revelations concerning discoveries, thereby lowering the overall psychological weight on every individual in society.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 10:44 PM
link   
It actually was an ATSNN story that I had posted here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

But at any rate, I put my money on the dustdevils clearing it off.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 11:02 PM
link   

Originally posted by FredT
It actually was an ATSNN story that I had posted here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

But at any rate, I put my money on the dustdevils clearing it off.


well that's ironic, we've entered into a cycle where we keep double thread posting each other....


though the most recent article does point out that these cleanings have now got Op. almost back up to 100% power.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 11:06 PM
link   
I wonder at what angles and what kind of vibration occurs on the rovers. I was wondering if the rover was at a high angle and vibrated, if the dust might start shaking loose. Then along comes a wind at night and blows off a ridge of dust that had formed earlier in the day. Either that or those automated martian defense bases have robots doing house cleaning as well.


Ever find it curious that the most successful probes to Mars come in like a natural meteor instead of a spacecraft landing? I once read speculation that there could be an old Martian base on autopilot automatically shooting down anything that comes close that is not natural. While I don't really believe this, it would make great science fiction.



posted on Dec, 21 2004 @ 11:35 PM
link   

Originally posted by onlyinmydreams

4)The next Mars probe is being built in cooperation with a US spy agency.

Now... am I saying that all those things ad up to a conspiracy that involves little green men who dust off rovers? No... what I'm saying is that, based on what the public already knows, there's a lot of evidence that supports the idea that some form of life currently exists on mars... and that larger life forms may have had a chance there in the past. Such a statement by a government agency COULD have caused social problems if it came out at the same time that the US was undergoing an extremely stress-filled election cycle (an election cycle that has resulted in old friends not talking to each other, in some cases).



1. How did you hear about the next mars probe being built in conjunction with US spy agencies?

2. Is there EVER a good time to tell the public that there may be life out there? If it isn't the election, its the war (which will be going on for a long time indeed).

They just need to bite the bullet so-to-speak and announce whatever their REAL findings on mars are. And whatever happens on earth happens. Do you really think the public's reaction will be that hysterical?



[edit on 21-12-2004 by jupiter869]




top topics



 
0
<<   2 >>

log in

join