NASA Mars Rovers Funded till Sept 2006!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by stubeeef, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #1
    These things ought to be the next energizer bunny sponsors!

    After two previous extentions NASA has continued funding on one of the most successful missions ever, and foresees the rovers functioning thru Sept of 2006.

    This is awesome science, not just the exploration discoveries, but the industrial design of these work horses.

    Congratulations to those involved in pulling off one of the most amazing explorations ever.
     
  2. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #2
    It is pretty amazing to think that these things are running for so long. What did they think they'd get originally - 6 months or something like that? Now they're thinking a couple of years.

    Truly awesome.
     
  3. Drgnhntr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego
    #3
  4. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #4
    They were originally supposed to last 3 months each. Now at 14 months and counting... re-funding this project was really a no-brainer. The rovers are in place, so all you're spending money on now is salaries for project staff, dish time, and computer time. If NASA let the rovers die over a measly $16 million or so, heads would roll.

    Hell, even the old space probes from the 1970s are still being funded... as long as they can receive a signal from them, keep 'em alive.

    I guess this means I have to make another trip up there to Windex off the damn dust again, though.
     
  5. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    That news story is related to the cleaning events with the rover Opportunity while it was inside Endurance Crater. They arent entirely sure what caused them

    However a few weeks ago a Martian Tornado passed over the rover Spirit and swept the dust from the panels. It's now getting nearly as much energy as it did jsut after landing.

    You can see the difference in these two images:

    [​IMG]

    These two images from 10 days apart show that dust was removed from the panoramic camera's calibration target on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Spirit's panoramic camera took the picture on the left on the rover's 416th martian day, or sol, (March 5, 2005) and took the picture on the right on sol 426 (March 15, 2005). During the time in-between, other evidence of dust-lifting winds were a jump in power output by Spirit's solar arrays on sol 420 from removal of some accumulated dust, and sighting of two dust devils in sol 421 images from Spirit. The size of the base plate on the calibration target shown in both of these images is 8 centimeters (3.15 inches) on each side.
     

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