NASA Mars Rovers Funded till Sept 2006!

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
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.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
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.
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,478
205
visiting from downstream
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.
 

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2003
1,803
5
UK
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:



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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