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reply to post by gortex
Good luck Curiosity
Maybe next time NASA should send one of these
edit on 4-2-2014 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)
Seriously though - NASA ( And I would have all-caps'd that even if it weren't an acronym ) - can't build a rover for $400,000,000 capable of driving across some dunes and rocks that's impervious to said conditions, even when they knew those would be the conditions; but the guy up the street from me with a welding torch and some used tires can launch his sand-rail a hundred feet across the local beach and drive away with a smile on his face.
What EXACTLY did those folks spend all of that money on? Give me the federal budget for Just the rover, and the technological resources; and I assure you - I'll build a rover, landing craft, and orbital satellite that will literally map the entire planet with no 'hiccups'. Sounds arrogant; but people build amazing feats of technology for fractions of the cost of this project that encourage me to believe that this is hardly a Real 'attempt'.
All it takes is to drop one or two of the vehicles depicted in the image above ( Cost w/ electric motors && solar? 100k ); covered in research equipment, weather-resistance features, and energy collection equipment - put like... 4 RC 'quad-copters' on each one that deploy from and return to it based on power availability, and you cover hundreds of miles a day in full detail - not to mention that you could map your rovers course much more safely.
Instead - they build a 6-legged frickin' flamingo that looks like something out of a Lego kit, give it half a trillion in dirt sampling hardware, and call it good. Sad to say - NASA may be full of brilliant engineers and scientists; but they have very few innovators. This project cost too much and is producing relatively nothing IMO. We'll end up with a 10% mapping of the planet ( guess ) that giant sections will be cut out of as 'classified', and NASA will get another billion to send back a 'more qualified' rover.
A bit of a rage-induced rant; my apologies - I just can't fathom that any of the elements of this project could cost this much money; and still malfunction. I would leave this with NASA as my final remarks - If you can't make a '$30,000 sprocket' last 6 months; you all need to reevaluate your research and development processes - and stop spending my money. I wouldn't mind if we learned everything that they do - but half a billion dollars of 'our' money was spent on a project that is falling apart 6 months later, and that is collecting information that we are not privier to. It was our money spent, it's our knowledge you are withholding NASA. There are no terrorists in space ( Are there? ) - there is no reason to cover up information found beyond this planet. None.
“The rover today literally has its two front wheels at the crest of the dune … and if all goes well, we should be down and off of it tomorrow,” said Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, lead scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission. At about a yard high and 10 yards long, it could be the biggest sand dune ever crossed on Mars.
“We’re literally not over the hump yet with the sand dune," he added, "but it’s looking very optimistic right now."
If Curiosity gets the go-ahead tonight, the rover will roll its way down the sandy dune very carefully. If the wheels start to slip too much, it will pause rather than keep spinning and potentially digging itself into a hole, like a car wheel in a snowdrift.
NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover has crossed a dune that stands across a gateway to a southwestward route favored by the rover team for driving to future science destinations.
After reaching the west side of the 3-foot-tall (1-meter-tall) dune today, the rover looked back at its tracks down the western slope.