Mars Rover Team Diagnosing Unexpected Behavior | 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

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-
Tuesday

Airborne Unlimited-
Wednesday

AMA Drone Report-
Thursday

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.07.17

Airborne 12.08.17

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.07.17

Airborne 12.08.17

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Mars Rover Team Diagnosing Unexpected Behavior

Spirit Grows Increasingly Unresponsive

The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit plans diagnostic tests this week, after Spirit did not report some of its weekend activities, including a request to determine its orientation after an incomplete drive.

On Sunday -- during the 1,800th Martian day ("sol") of what was initially planned as a 90-sol mission on Mars -- information radioed from Spirit indicated the rover had received its driving commands for the day but had not moved. That can happen for many reasons, including the rover properly sensing that it is not ready to drive. However, other behavior on Sol 1800 was even more unusual: Spirit apparently did not record the day's main activities into the non-volatile memory, the part of its memory that persists even when power is off.

On Monday, Spirit's controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA chose to command the rover on Tuesday, Sol 1802, to find the sun with its camera in order to precisely determine its orientation. Not knowing its orientation could have been one possible explanation for Spirit not doing its weekend drive. Early Tuesday, Spirit reported that it had followed the commands, and in fact had located the sun, but not in its expected location.

"We don't have a good explanation yet for the way Spirit has been acting for the past few days," said JPL's Sharon Laubach, chief of the team that writes and checks commands for the rovers. "Our next steps will be diagnostic activities."

Among other possible causes, the team is considering a hypothesis of transitory effects from cosmic rays hitting electronics. On Tuesday, Spirit apparently used its non-volatile memory properly.

Despite the rover's unexplained behavior, Mars Exploration Rovers' Project Manager John Callas of JPL said Wednesday, "Right now, Spirit is under normal sequence control, reporting good health and responsive to commands from the ground."

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, landed on Mars in January 2004 and have operated 20 times longer than their original prime missions.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

Advertisement

More News

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1

Instructs NASA To Refocus On Manned Space Exploration President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon. The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Dir>[...]

AMA Drone Report 12.07.17: AMA Supports GoFly, ALPA v UAS, EU Drone Regs

Also: Drones Hunt Pythons, MI State Regs, Thanksgiving Drone Flying, Drone Collision Report A little outside our normal coverage responsibilities, nonetheless, we’re intrigue>[...]

Airborne 12.11.17: Pilatus PC-24 Cert, VerdeGo Aero, Canada Nixes Hornets

Also: Engine Coatings Facility, Wrong Runway At JFK, ATR 72-600 Flight Sim, Regional Airline Association Pilatus has obtained type certificates from the FAA and EASA for the first >[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17: ERAU Storm Chaser, USMC Drone Insignia, Malawian UAV

Also: NLR Signs Agreement, QinetiQ, Big Bend Community College, 2nd Annual UAS Conference, Tigershark UAS Kicking off a series of tests for its capstone project, the UAV Storm Chas>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17: ERAU Storm Chaser, USMC Drone Insignia, Malawian UAV

Also: NLR Signs Agreement, QinetiQ, Big Bend Community College, 2nd Annual UAS Conference, Tigershark UAS Kicking off a series of tests for its capstone project, the UAV Storm Chas>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

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