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Curiosity: Mars Or Bust Pt II
 
# 136 : Wednesday 27-1-2016 @ 17:19
 
 
NASA's Opportunity shatters expectations with 12 years on Mars

When the rover Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004, it was supposed to last for three months. But twelves years later, Opportunity is still exceeding expectations.

read all about it
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0127/NASA-s-Opportunity-sha etc ...
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# 137 : Wednesday 27-1-2016 @ 22:08
 
 
Someone said :
NASA's Opportunity shatters expectations with 12 years on Mars

When the rover Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004, it was supposed to last for three months. But twelves years later, Opportunity is still exceeding expectations.

read all about it
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0127/NASA-s-Opportunity-sha etc ...

It really is incredible that the Opportunity rover has lasted 12 years. It was originally designed and built for 3 months.
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# 138 : Sunday 31-1-2016 @ 21:58
 
 
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# 139 : Tuesday 12-7-2016 @ 23:58
 
 
Mystery solved: Mars rover Curiosity back to work

Curiosity is back in action. The Mars rover went into a partial shutdown last week, and stopped communicating with Earth.

Curiosity, NASA’s intrepid Martian rover, became fully operational again Monday, more than a week after retreating into a safe standby mode.

Like all spacecraft, whether exploring the cratered wilderness of Mars or pioneering pathways into the depths of space, Curiosity has built-in systems that take it into a safe mode if some kind of serious system failure threatens.

Engineers spent several days delving into the mystery of what had precipitated this partial shutdown, eventually coaxing the rover out of its standby mode on July 9th.

“The most likely cause of entry into safe mode has been determined to be a software mismatch in one mode of how image data are transferred on board,” reads a NASA statement. “Science activity planning for the rover is avoiding use of that mode, which involves writing images from some cameras’ memories into files on the rover’s main computer. Alternate means are available for handling and transmitting all image data.”

When Curiosity sunk into its safe mode last week, it ceased most activities other than maintaining its essential systems and following a preprogrammed sequence for resuming communications.

Sometimes, these shutdowns occur when cosmic radiation strikes sensitive electronics, but in this case the problem was internal, when Curiosity tried to save its captured images to its main computer and suffered a software mismatch. To counter this, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the project, has devised a way to bypass the faulty software when images are being saved.

Curiosity has proved a hardy explorer. Three times before it has entered standby mode. It has experienced a broken arm, found itself stranded on a hill, suffered deep punctures in its wheels, and lost the ability to focus with one of its cameras.

Yet NASA’s scientists have managed to institute long-range fixes every time.

So successful has the robot proved to be, alongside its dedicated Earth-based team of controllers, that NASA approved a two-year extension to its mission earlier this month, taking Curiosity’s exploration of Mars into 2018 at least.

The mission began when the rover landed at Gale Crater in August 2012. Within the first year, its primary goal was achieved, determining that the region had once hosted fresh-water lakes and rivers, exhibiting environmental conditions that could, once, have supported microbial life.

Since then, the mission brief has focused on understanding how these wet, habitable conditions transformed into the dry, dusty surface that today constitutes the iconic images of the Martian landscape.

Indeed, Curiosity is also helping pave the way for a manned mission to Mars, and while NASA expects to undertake that giant step no sooner than 2030, it already has posters promoting the cause, seeking to appeal to aspiring astronauts.

“Hike the solar system's largest canyon, Valles Marineris on Mars,” reads one such offering, “where you can catch blue sunsets in the twilight, and see the two moons of Mars [Phobos and Deimos] in the night sky.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0712/Mystery-solved-Mars-ro etc ...
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# 140 : Saturday 23-7-2016 @ 20:44
 
 
The Mars rover's newest trick: self-guided laser shots

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity just added another trick: autonomous laser shooting.

For the first time ever for a robot planetary mission, Curiosity can autonomously target potentially interesting rocks and soil, shoot a laser and camera at the objects through the rover’s ChemCam, and send the information tens of millions of miles back to Earth.

Before now, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calf., would select samples from Curiosity’s images and manually direct the ChemCam to specific areas. Scientists here on Earth will still select the majority of samples, but “the autonomous targeting adds a new capability,” explains NASA.

more
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0722/The-Mars-rover-s-newes etc ...
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# 141 : Tuesday 26-7-2016 @ 06:49
 
 
Someone said :
The Mars rover's newest trick: self-guided laser shots

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity just added another trick: autonomous laser shooting.

For the first time ever for a robot planetary mission, Curiosity can autonomously target potentially interesting rocks and soil, shoot a laser and camera at the objects through the rover’s ChemCam, and send the information tens of millions of miles back to Earth.

Before now, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calf., would select samples from Curiosity’s images and manually direct the ChemCam to specific areas. Scientists here on Earth will still select the majority of samples, but “the autonomous targeting adds a new capability,” explains NASA.

more
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0722/The-Mars-rover-s-newes etc ...

Can't wait to see this being weaponized.
Will have to, but in vain, as I will not see it happen in my life-time: they will shoot me dead in the back.
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# 142 : Friday 5-8-2016 @ 15:47
 
 
4 Years on Mars! NASA's Historic Curiosity Rover Marks Anniversary

Four years ago today, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity made one of the most dramatic and harrowing landings in the history of space exploration.

On the night of Aug. 5, 2012, a rocket-powered "sky crane" lowered the car-size Curiosity onto Mars' red dirt using cables, then flew off and crash-landed intentionally a safe distance away.

Curiosity team members had modeled this novel technique repeatedly using computers, but it had never been tested fully here on Earth, let alone employed on the surface of another world.

Still, everything worked perfectly at crunch time, and Curiosity soon began exploring the interior of Mars' 96-mile-wide (154 kilometers) Gale Crater. The discoveries came fast: The rover found that the area near its landing site harbored a lake-and-stream system long ago, showing that at least some parts of the Red Planet could have supported microbial life in the ancient past.

The main goal of the $2.5 billion Curiosity mission is to answer that very question.

"It was just an early home run that kind of took the pressure off, and allowed us to expand on that [discovery] for the next few years," Curiosity project scientist Ashwin Vasavada, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, told Space.com.

more
http://www.space.com/33655-mars-rover-curiosity-fourth-anniversar etc ...
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# 143 : Tuesday 4-10-2016 @ 18:59
 
 
Curiosity Rover Snaps Amazing Selfie on Mars Mountain



http://www.space.com/34291-cmars-rover-curiosity-selfie-mount-sha etc ...
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# 144 : Friday 21-10-2016 @ 02:12
 
 
Sadly, the European Space Agency's second attempt to land on Mars looks to have failed.

Story here:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37707776

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