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

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 04.20.15

Airborne 04.21.15

Airborne 04.22.15

Airborne 04.23.15

Airborne 04.24.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 04.20.15

Airborne 04.21.15

Airborne 04.22.15

Airborne 04.23.15

Airborne 04.24.15

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

Airborne 04.23.15: Able Flight, Diesel Archer, RutanRC!

Also: United Bars Security Expert, Airborne Advisors, NTSB Video, Avidyne, Cessna, Airport Access Tempest Plus Marketing Group has announced support for Able Flight as a Platinum L>[...]

Amazing Amphib! Lakeland 2015 Sponsor Progressive Aerodyne Goes EVERYWHERE

Progressive Aerodyne Does it All -- Land, Sea and Sky! Explore 'no limits' living in the newly FAA certified Searey Elite Amphibious Light Sport Airplane. This distinctive aircraft>[...]

Airborne 04.22.15: ANN Covers Sun 'n Fun!, Superior's Diesel, Sling 4

Also: Avidyne/Sun Flyer, Aspen Lowers Pricing, Glasair Diesel, Wipaire, Amphibious Air Ambulance, Proud Bird, GE90 Printed Parts People cast a wary eye to the sky Monday, as the fi>[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present SnF2015 Special Event Coverage!

SnF2015 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability into general aviation cockpits. Our products in>[...]

Airborne 04.23.15: Able Flight, Diesel Archer, RutanRC!

Also: United Bars Security Expert, Airborne Advisors, NTSB Video, Avidyne, Cessna, Airport Access Tempest Plus Marketing Group has announced support for Able Flight as a Platinum L>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC