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SCI/TECH: MER Mission a resounding Success for NASA

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posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 02:54 AM
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NASA's Opportunity Rover has just passed its 90th Sol on Mars with 811.57 metres on its odometer. Both of the Mars Exploration Rovers have now completed the prerequisites for mission success. Sending back almost 30,000 images between them. Neither shows any sign of slowing down.
 

Spirit achieved Mission success on April 5th 2004. Both rovers have completed over 600m of driving and survived over 90 Sols on the Martian surface. These were the largets benchmarks for mission success. Spirit has now been on Mars for 111 days.

Apart from a few minor hiccups with Opportunity's heaters, and a worrying time with Spirit encountering an error with its Flash memory early on in the mission. Both Rovers have performed exceptionally well, massively increasing our knowledge of Mars and its geological history. The Opportunity Rover has discovered solid evidence of free water existing above ground at its Meridiani Planum landing site.

Both Rovers are currently on the move to new sites of interest. Opportunity was lucky enough to land in a crater, and found proof of water on Mars before even having to leave. It is now on the way to a much larger nearby crater called 'Endurance'. Spirit was less fortunate and landed on a lava plain. It is at present about 1/6th of the way on its journey to the Columbia Hills. Still about 1.9 km away.

The Rovers are likely to go well past their design lifetimes as neither has so far given any signs of degrading performance. As the mission continues dust will build up on the solar panels that power the Rovers. Also the amount of Solar energy that reaches the Martian surface will decrease as the sites move into winter and Mars moves away from the sun. Controllers are still optimistic and have even suggested the mission may last longer than a year.

Related Sites:
Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Home

Related ATSNN Articles:
Mars once 'Drenched' with Water
Rovers Upgraded and Back on the Move




posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 08:46 AM
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Maybe as winter approaches it will rain and thus clean the dust off the panels



posted on Apr, 28 2004 @ 12:51 PM
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Millions and millions of dollars, thousands and thousands of man-hours, the best and brightest minds... and they forgot a bottle of windex and a squeegee for the solar panels??

[Edited on 28-4-2004 by Cascadego]



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 04:46 PM
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has anyone ever noticed how most of the missions from nasa to mars either go wrong or only have instruments on board to tell them only part of what is needed to find out the truth of whats really up there, and how they avoid any landings in the really interesting areas like cydonia. jpl even go so far as to try to discredit hoagland by playing a game with the infra red image data from mars global suveyor, again we come down to the american curse money = funding = long term plan each mission cost up to 100 million at the moment needs a workforce of thousands if they tell you the whole truth straight away then jobs and funding would go elsewhere so the information release will be a trickle and no more, also plenty of half truths as the announcement about past water shows, lying about the temperature near the equator playing with the sattelite images that clearly show green growth in the european photos and when we see the nasa release hey presto they are in black and white what a joke this nasa has turned out to be i have seen better pictures true colour pictures taken from earth based telescopes that quite clearly show the haze of atmosphere, they see you all as fools every now and then throwing there dog = (stupid public) a bone of information to wet their panties with, so you can all go away thinking we have to go back = more funding = money = not quite got the right instruments on board will have to send another probe to find out what the last one did not. Do not even bother looking on their site anymore my stomach turns every time another one of their scientists or as i like to call them (not another spineless asshole) gives a press conference the press sit there lapping it up when was the last time a real question was asked in one of their press conferences what a joke, hope i have not bored you too much.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 10:16 PM
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cascadego: I believe the idea of wipers for the solar panel was bounced around. But canned because it isn't worth the weight of the wipers. From memory it is because a lot of the dust is too fine to be simply wiped clean.

no paul, you didn't bore me, but..

only have instruments on board to tell them only part of what is needed to find out the truth of whats really up there

The present Rovers have an excellent instrument payload for the current mission. The perfect balance of weight/instrumentation. JPL doesn't need to 'discredit' Richard, he does a stunning job of it by himself. The only place any 'game' is being played with any of the data is inside Hoaglands mind.

There is no 'lying' about the temperature near the equator. What are you referring to?

I also don't understand what you are inferring by the Hubble/Earthbased shots that show the blue haze. Noone is saying that Mars does not have an atmosphere. The blue haze is transient and theorised to be caused by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

Really, if NASA was after a funding boost, all it would have to do is announce the finding of life. Or even existing liquid water. But of course they can't do that until they have verifiable proof. As the entire earthbound scientific community is watching over their shoulder and analysing their conclusions.

You might like to have a browse over to Phil Plait's badastronomy.com and see a rebuttal of EnterpriseMission. Pseudoscience always crumbles beneath the wheels of actual science.



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by Kano
cascadego: I believe the idea of wipers for the solar panel was bounced around. But canned because it isn't worth the weight of the wipers. From memory it is because a lot of the dust is too fine to be simply wiped clean.


What else would the windex be for?



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 08:53 PM
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Maybe they've already planned this, but:


For Low sun angles

Park it on a slope! flat side angled south.
If no slope, crouch the front or rear.
Aim those panels right at the sun.
Just common sense, but sometimes the simplest things
are overlooked..




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