Is NASA's Spirit Rover Facing Its Last Sunset? | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 10.19.17

Airborne 10.16.17

Airborne 10.17.17

Airborne 10.18.17

Airborne 10.19.17

Airborne 10.20.17

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 10.19.17

Airborne 10.16.17

Airborne 10.17.17

Airborne 10.18.17

Airborne 10.19.17

Airborne 10.20.17

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17

NEW!!! 2017 AirVenture Innovation Preview -- YouTube Presentation / Vimeo Presentation

Wed, Dec 12, 2007

Is NASA's Spirit Rover Facing Its Last Sunset?

Racing The Clock To Reposition Rover For Martian Winter

It's a race against the clock... at 10 mm/second. NASA engineers are becoming concerned the Mars Spirit Rover may miss a deadline to reposition itself in time for the Martian winter. If the craft cannot be parked with its solar panels aimed at the sun by Christmas, it risks starving its batteries beyond the point of recovery.

"It's scramble right now because we're losing sunlight," rover project manager John Callas told The Associated Press.

Both rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, fell victim to Martian dust storms this summer which coated their solar arrays... reducing their energy-generating capabilities to less than 50 percent.

Winds have since helped clear the dust from Opportunity, but Spirit hasn't done as well. Program officials say Spirit's solar panel efficiency could drop to 30 percent this winter.

If the craft can't maneuver to a sunny spot and angle its panels to the optimum sun angle for recharging during an expected seven months of dormancy, it may be lost. Right now, Spirit's battery is being recharged so slowly that it must rest one day after each move, and time is running out.

The twin Mars rovers have outlived their intended 90-day mission plans many times over, and continue to make discoveries of great value to scientists. As ANN reported, NASA extended both rovers' missions a fifth time in October.

FMI: www.nasa.gov/rovers

Advertisement

More News

RFP: ANN Seeking New Site/Facility For Major Studio Upgrade

It's Official: Aggressive Upgrades For New Airborne Programs WILL Require New Digs It's been in development for years, but we're getting to a point where we think we can pull off s>[...]

AMA Drone Report 10.12.17: NTSB--Drone v Blackhawk, City Drops Reg, DJI Privacy

Also: PassengerDrone, FAA Reauthorization Extension, UAS Pilot Certification, Workhorse Surefly The NTSB is now offering public details of the alleged collision between a hobby dro>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17: Eagles v Drones, DJI AeroScope, Drone Policy

Also: AeroVironment Award, Washington State Patrol, Altavian Nova UAS, Robotaxis The French Military is training four Golden Eagles to attack drones in flight as a way to defend ag>[...]

Airborne 10.18.17: Airbus C Series Deal, Red Bull!, Drone v Airline

Also: Glasair 2 And 3 Sold, Send Solutions, Blue Angels, SSBJ, D8 Airliner, Stage 5 Aircraft, Global Supertanker Airbus SE and Bombardier are to become partners on the C Series air>[...]

Airborne 10.17.17: Waco YMF-5F Flies!, SpaceX Streak, BBJs Rule

Also: Embraer, Aero-Calendar, AeroVironment, Sikorsky Heli's, EASA Singapore, FireFighting UAV, WestJet The amazing craftsman of the Waco Classic Aircraft operation in Michigan hav>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC