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

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Airborne 07.20.16

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Airborne 07.20.16

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

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 07.25.16: Pelton Opens OSH16!, Textron Denali, Eclipse CANADA

Also: PS Engineering Update, Martin Mars Wows Oshkosh, Garmin Plays 'Me, Too' With STCs, Comprehensive Jack Pelton Intvw, Part 1 EAA's Jack Pelton opened up Oshkosh 2016 with some >[...]

ANN FAQ: Q&A 101

A Few Questions AND Answers To Help You Get MORE Out of ANN!>[...]

Airborne 07.22.16: ONE Aviation New Jet, Drone Pilot Nabbed, Stemme Twin Voyager

Also: AEA Giveaway, 44 Trips To OSH, Airbus Drones, Future Pilots, NTSB Training, Air BP, Boeing Forecast, ALPA Milestone ONE Aviation has provided ANN with the initial outline for>[...]

Only Sporty's!!! Sporty's Pilot Shop Helps ANN Cover Oshkosh 2016!

Sporty's Pilot Shop Is A Pivotal GA Resource! Sporty’s Pilot Shop was founded over 50 years ago by a flight instructor, and ever since has been for pilots and by pilots. Hal >[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present OSH2016 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2016 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced display and sensor technology from the >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC