Spirit Rover on Mars

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 4, 2003
1,803
5
UK
Spirit has made it to the top of Husband Hill, in the Columbia Hills on Mars......



That looks more like a Tornado than a dust devil !!

Its extraordinary to think that the rover is now parked near the top of the tallest hill (Husband Hill) in the middle of the image below, taken on it's 9th day (sol) on Mars: :)

 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
so how much longer are they expecting to receive data from the two rovers? i thought they weren't expected to last this long in the first place? they are still giving some beautiful and amazing pictures though, hope it lasts
 
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WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,353
1,298
Their missions were supposed to be three months, and they've now been going for eighteen months. They've been approved to run for another 14 months if they should last that long. And of course another extension could be warranted as October 2006 approaches if they're still running well.
 
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PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
WildCowboy said:
Their missions were supposed to be three months, and they've now been going for eighteen months. They've been approved to run for another 14 months if they should last that long. And of course another extension could be warranted as October 2006 approaches if they're still running well.
awesome thanks for that info, just for curiosity sake, is there an official site where one could watch the rovers' progress?
 
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clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,492
400
visiting from downstream
I'm glad to see that the two rovers are STILL going, after all this time.

Still, I am forced to wonder if perhaps the folks at NASA and JPL didn't totally low-ball the expected lifetime of the rovers. Perhaps they KNEW that they could last for more than a year, but came out with the 90 day estimate so that, like Scotty, they'd look like miracle workers when the rovers far exceeded the "expected" lifetime.
 
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Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,718
2,755
Sod off
IIRC, the two rovers use a ruggedized version of the PowerPC 603...

The rover missions have been a huge success for NASA, especially when one concerns the relatively low cost of the program.
 
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krimson

macrumors 65816
clayj said:
I'm glad to see that the two rovers are STILL going, after all this time.

Still, I am forced to wonder if perhaps the folks at NASA and JPL didn't totally low-ball the expected lifetime of the rovers. Perhaps they KNEW that they could last for more than a year, but came out with the 90 day estimate so that, like Scotty, they'd look like miracle workers when the rovers far exceeded the "expected" lifetime.

from what my friend said, they we built to last at least 90 days. the breeze that cleared off solar panels really increased the longetivity of the rovers (more specifically Spirit). I recall him saying they could last alot longer, if they could keep the panels clean, and the batteries charged.
 
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emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
This is amazing stuff - I love the pictures we're getting. It would be funny if they found Beagle so that we'd know what happened to it. Or, at least, its fate.
 
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atszyman

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2003
2,437
1
The Dallas 'burbs
I figure they are going to keep them running until they can meet up and have Robot Wars on Mars. Of course they'd only be able to pull off one move every day but it would increase suspense...:D
 
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strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
clayj said:
I'm glad to see that the two rovers are STILL going, after all this time.

Still, I am forced to wonder if perhaps the folks at NASA and JPL didn't totally low-ball the expected lifetime of the rovers. Perhaps they KNEW that they could last for more than a year, but came out with the 90 day estimate so that, like Scotty, they'd look like miracle workers when the rovers far exceeded the "expected" lifetime.

Well, they have had some good luck to keep them going this long. One got stuck and took a long time to get unstuck. Another's solar panels were covered in dust so that it was effectively useless, but it miraculously got its power back (probably a strong wind or dust devil type phenomena cleared the solar panels). I mean, these things could go for a long time in perfect conditions, but obviously there are no ideal conditions on mars. So yeah, they probably low balled it, but probably because they couldn't reasonably garauntee they'd run this long.
 
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