Mars Rovers get long-distance software upgrade!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by OnaMacSince1989, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. OnaMacSince1989 macrumors member

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    Columbus, OH
    #1
    The geek in me thinks this story is way cool!

    MSNBC: Upgrade makes aging Mars rovers smarter
    Engineers transmitted new software to the rovers' onboard computers
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16454435/

    These amazing machines are still going strong nearly three years after landing on Mars - and they were originally designed to last three months!

    :)
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    Coming up on 4 years! this was a 3 month mission. Bravo to the Nasa Team that built these Rovers. :)
     
  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #3
    i honestly, this is amazing. think of how long they have to transmit info to the machines. it's a long, long time. it would be like planning something and then moving in slo mo :) lol

    i sure hope the people behind the scenes have a few xboxes or something to keep them occupied as i'm sure they're not the ones directly analyzing the photos and data.

    on another hand...it kind of upsets me that countries on this planet are suffering way below livable poverty and the money spent on these rovers is, literally, out of this world.

    BUT, that is an entirely different discussion.

    hopefully, they'll find something useful.

    go rovers go!
     
  4. OnaMacSince1989 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    The U.S. and other industrialized nations give many Billions of dollars in assistance each year to help the peoples of the third world.

    The original mission expense for both rovers (total) was only $820 Million (development, production, launch, landing, and initial monitoring, etc.). With the mission extensions, the costs are closer to one Billion dollars. That's amazingly cost efficient for space research.

    On the other hand, the U.S. has already spent over $350 Billion on the war in Iraq (and will likely spend around one Trillion dollars before all is said and done in Iraq). It's quite mind blowing to think what good works that money could have been spent on instead.

    :(
     
  5. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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    Georgia
    #5
    Does anyone here keep track with Voyager spacecraft? Well I do a little and the distance that it has gone and still sending back information is amazing. Voyager 1 just passed and entering the heliosheath which I don't know what that is but I'll post a picture of what I saw. What is cool to me is that both of them contain gold records with pictures, sounds, songs and people on there so in case another life form finds it they can know what earth is like. I believe that if the golden records are removed from the spacecraft that NASA will know and do other research to find out what that was that removed them. Here is the picture that shows where both spacecraft are: might be big so sorry if it is but I don't know how to downsize it.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    #6
    Free health care for 20 years...
     
  7. OnaMacSince1989 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    What??? How would NASA know if the records were removed? V1 and V2 are never coming back to Earth (unless the aliens that find them bring them here...hehe).

    I agree, though, the Voyager spacecraft are amazing man-made machines. Hard to believe they are still functioning and sending back signals from outside the solar system 30 years after launching.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record
     
  8. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I've never heard that rumor, but presumably a signal could be emitted if the records were removed. Of course, the chances of any alien race stumbling across them and Voyager having enough power to send a signal all the way back are essentially nil (particularly since Voyager 1 won't approach the next nearest star for another 40,000 years, while its power is projected to run out by 2020).
     
  9. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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    #9
    My science teacher told me about the golden record thing. Does the camera still work on the spacecraft?
     
  10. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #10
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. is that special team, predates NASA, which was established in 1958.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars/

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/about_JPL/


    "Do not go where the path may lead," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail."

    That could be the motto of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Trailblazing has been the business of JPL since it was established by the California Institute of Technology in the 1930s. America's first satellite, Explorer 1, was created at JPL. In the decades that followed, we sent the first robotic craft to the Moon and out across the solar system, reconnoitering all of the planets except one. Pushing the outer edge of exploration, in fact, is the reason JPL exists as a NASA laboratory.
     

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