View Full Version : Yet Another Mars Rover Thread (was 'We're Baaack!')

01 January 2004, 05:16 AM
What? No one noticed?

JPL = woot! :thumbsup:

01 January 2004, 05:42 AM
Hey kool :) so... when was this one luanched?? and was it one of the ones we didn't get any signals from??

01 January 2004, 05:43 AM
nm just read it ;) kool, didn't even know this guy was up there!

01 January 2004, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by Sieb
What? No one noticed?

Yeah, somebody noticed 6 threads below. (hint hint) :D

BTW, does anyone know what are the technical differences between this mission and the one back at 1997?

01 January 2004, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by Dennik
BTW, does anyone know what are the technical differences between this mission and the one back at 1997? "The two powerful new Mars rovers have far greater mobility than the 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover. These identical robotic explorers will each be able to trek up to 100 meters (about 100 yards) a day across the martian surface. Each rover carries a sophisticated set of instruments the Athena Science Payload that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water in the planet's past. "

P.S. I beleive that the images posted at the JPL site are in black and white because they are really infrared photos. The rovers do have color, "visible light", cameras as well.

01 January 2004, 01:49 PM
I agree this is awesome news to have a functioning rover on Mars again. There are supposed to be color photos available sometime today (first black and whites are already up). Also, there will be stereoscopic images sent back so that you can get a feel for the 3 dimensional nature of the terrain. I can't wait!

And remember it's sister rover (Opportunity) is due to land on the opposite side of the planet in a couple of weeks. These rovers can travel in one day roughly the same distance that Pathfinder did during it's whole mission. Very, very cool. Spirit's rover will roll off it's base in about a week; as pics return from Mars, they're debating what areas it should visit and in what order. I hope they can get close to the hills pictured in the distance.

01 January 2004, 04:43 PM
Aren't these things full of fragile pieces and sensors? I thought there was a LOT of wind on Mars. Wind+dust would break any such machine easily, how do they protect them (like the solar panels and such)?

01 January 2004, 05:47 PM
Do you mean how are they protected during the landing or now that it's on the ground?
Clearly, a lot of time and effort was put into designing a robust and tightly compact machine able to withstand a drop from approx. 50 ft surrounded by the inflatable airbags during it's bouncing landing.
Mars can indeed have high winds, but remember it's atmosphere is really thin compared to earth. This reduces the impact of wind. However, a bad dust storm encompassing the rover could coat the solar panels with a dust film that reduces it's ability to absorb solar radiation. This is obviously not the case right now as evidenced by the pictures returning from the surface. I suppose even if a storm arose, they could fold up the panels and let it hibernate until it blew over.

By the way, they've just add a stereoscopic image of the surface that you can view if you have any red&blue glasses. >Link ( <

01 January 2004, 07:16 PM
I could have sworn I saw a mountain and waterfall way off in the distance on one of the Mars' pics. But on closer inspection it turned out to be just another Starbucks. ;)

01 January 2004, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by Signal to Noise
I could have sworn I saw a mountain and waterfall way off in the distance on one of the Mars' pics. But on closer inspection it turned out to be just another Starbucks. ;) Not possible. I have the Starbucks franchise for Mars and our first store is not scheduled to open until April 2005. :)

01 January 2004, 02:26 AM
That is way cool to look at a shot of the surface of Mars. I wonder how long until we send astronauts. 2020?

01 January 2004, 12:17 PM
"NASA Shows Off Spirit's 'Post Card' from Mars"
NASA (news - web sites) scientists on Tuesday showed off their first color "post card" of Mars taken by the robot explorer Spirit, a high-definition portrait revealing the rocky, wind-swept surface of the red planet in greater detail than ever seen before.

The photograph -- actually a mosaic of a dozen three-color frames shot by Spirit's twin panoramic cameras -- showed a barren, burned-orange landscape strewn with blue-gray rocks stretching to the edge of a butterscotch horizon.

The picture brought into focus such vivid details as the shape and texture of rocks, deposits of pebbles scattered by winds, powder-filled hollows, soil trails left by dust devils, nearby hills, and a tantalizing but distant mesa.

One of the most intriguing features noticed by scientists was a darkened patch of the martian surface at the edge of the lander, where the soil had been scraped by Spirit's air bags, leaving a crinkled pattern with a mud-like cohesive appearance.

>>link<< (


01 January 2004, 01:34 PM
Some full resolution close ups of sections of the color image:

Air Bag marks:



Wind polished rocks:

01 January 2004, 03:07 PM
A Stunning Barren Wasteland..

01 January 2004, 10:39 PM
Looks all fuzy 3D. I think we had better pictures last time.

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