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posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 08:53 PM
JPL Director Charles Elachi was quoted as saying: "We are cautiously encouraged."


posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 09:03 PM
Maybe the recent sun eruptions are scrambling the transmissions. According to's "Astro Alert News" feature we're in a good 48 hour aurora borealis phase.

I wish NASA would build triple redundancy into their planetary probes. Maybe they do are only hiding evidence of ET life from us :0)

[Edited on 22-1-2004 by Condorcet]

posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 10:06 PM

Originally posted by Condorcet
Maybe the recent sun eruptions are scrambling the transmissions. According to's "Astro Alert News" feature we're in a good 48 hour aurora borealis phase.

Last night the aurora was strong, here in Alaska. It has been a while since they have been out and last night they were very active.
You have made a good point, Condorcet. Let us hope-

posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 10:41 PM

The recent solar CME's raise the question of what effect these have on the surface of mars. Earth is protected from the vast majority of the energy of these events by our magnetic field. Mars does not afford such protections.

Can this have an effect on the rovers, and possibly humans in later missions?

posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 05:09 AM
I have removed the last two replies...

please, stay on topic ladies and gentlemen

Use the Jokes, Puns, & Pranks forum for stuff like that.

posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 07:34 AM
It seems that the next best opportunity to receceive information from spirit is T minus 3.5 hours and counting.

Engineers hope Spirit will manage to send some engineering data, which can be used to assess the health of the spacecraft, pinpoint any problems and allow NASA to begin working on a potential fix or fixes. Officials had said the next best opportunity for actual data to come from the rover was between 6 a.m. and noon EST Friday.

The problem surfaced while Spirit was preparing to resume analysis of its first rock, just a few yards from where it landed.

Early Thursday, NASA initially heard nothing from Spirit that would indicate it was in "fault mode," a state that the rover enters by itself when it has experienced a problem. Later, NASA sent a command to Spirit as if it were in fault mode, anyway. Spirit acknowledged with a beep that it received the command, indicating an onboard problem. That puzzled engineers.

The rover has since missed several scheduled opportunities to communicate, both directly with Earth and by way of two NASA satellites in orbit around Mars.

Preliminary indications suggested the rover's radio was working, and it continued to generate power from the sun with its solar panels. Spirit's internal clock also was running and had roused the rover several times on cue.

posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 09:42 AM
they've established contat again, was on the news a minute ago

posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 09:49 AM
They have restored some form of contact but it is very weak

The communications came about 90 minutes after the start of the Martian day at a transmission speed of 10 bits per second, which is considered very weak.

NASA engineers were to send Spirit several commands in the coming hours hoping to get some information about its condition and determine the source of its communication trouble.

posted on Jan, 23 2004 @ 10:59 AM

maybe they could send the rover to look for the lost dog! Nasa said two signals were captured on Friday shortly after the Martian dawn by an antenna of the international Deep Space Network near Madrid, Spain.

Spirit had been refusing to speak to Earth, transmitting only short beeps to indicate it was powered up and alive.

The vehicle was about to drill into a rock when the breakdown occurred.

The encouraging news was released as the European Space Agency unveiled its first results from the Mars Express probe now in orbit around the Red Planet.

The spacecraft has sent back a series of astonishing pictures of Mars and new details about its water-ice coverage.

Fault solution

The US space agency said the first communication with Spirit occurred at 1234 GMT and lasted for 10 minutes. The data rate was weak at 10 bits per second.

The second contact came at 1326 GMT and lasted 20 minutes. On this occasion, the data was fed at a rate of 120 bits per second.

"The spacecraft sent limited data in a proper response to a ground command, and we're planning for commanding further communication sessions later today," said Mars Exploration Rover project manager Pete Theisinger.

Nasa has not said what was in the feeds. But engineers are keen to get any information from the rover that might help them diagnose and correct the problems it has been experiencing.

Since Wednesday, Spirit has returned only "noise" and a few beeps in response to ground contact.

The rover landed on Mars on 3 January, for a planned three-month mission to explore the geological history of the planet. Its aim was to tour Gusev Crater, studying its rocks and soil for signs of water, past or present.

Soon to land

When its troubles began on Wednesday, the six-wheeled robotic geologist was parked in front of a football-sized rock, its tool-laden arm extended and prepared to grind the rock's surface.

Commands were being fed via a radio telescope in Canberra, Australia, but a thunderstorm over the facility interrupted the transmission.

Scientists were asked whether the Australian-fed commands being cut short could have caused the rover's current problems. They consider this unlikely, however.

"We believe the architecture does not allow this to happen," said Theisinger.

Meanwhile, the rover Opportunity is still on course to land on Mars on Sunday, at 0505 GMT.

The vehicle is aimed at Meridiani Planum, a plain which is near the Martian equator. It will be halfway around the planet from Gusev Crater.

Independent audit

The US landers are identical. Nasa will want, therefore, to trace the source of Spirit's problems because it could have implications for the way Opportunity is deployed.

After the failure in 1999 of Nasa's Mars Polar Lander and Mars Climate Orbiter, the agency opened the rover project to independent scrutiny.

Outside auditors have studied every detail in the plans, looking for any flaws which might scupper a successful mission for the vehicles.

Nasa says everything was done that was humanly possible to send the vehicles to Mars in good working order.

[Edited on 23-1-2004 by SE7EN]

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