俄罗斯老妇与青年

俄罗斯老妇与青年Science, Technology and Society 361: "Mars Exploration" -- Fall 2010

Friday, December 21, 2007

Climate Change Hits Mars

NASA scientists have noted that Mars has heated by about 0.5 degrees (C)since the1970's. What is fascinating is that this is approximately the same amount of warming that Earth has felt during the same amount of time.However, the warming on Mars is not presumed to be induced by humans, since NO life-forms have been spotted on Mars thus far.One researcher feels that radiation around the planet may be causing strong winds, leading to dust storms which trap the planet's heat.When 'heat maps' were produced, dark areas on the planet were indeed shown to be warmer.So, it can be assumed that the global warming experienced by Mars is completely a natural process for the red planet.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1720024.ece

Success for Mars rover bag test

The design phase of the European attempt to build a Mars rover has passed a significant stage recently when designers showed off their new air bag system to help cushion the rovers landing on the Martian surface.The air bag using vented, also called dead-beat, airbag technology.The successful entry and survival following landing on the Martian surface is incredibly important when determining the success of the Mars rover missions.This new air bag is a integral part of the new rover system and should help to ensure a safe landing on the Martian surface.When the US-based Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on the Martian surface, they bounced more that 25 times and traveled some 200 meters from the spot of their initial impact.This technology is different in that as the rovers make impact, that back absorb and deflate, venting the air out and resulting in a smooth landing without any bounces.This type of technology would also allow the designers to carry a much heavier payload when landing on the Martian surface.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6738585.stm

Mars Rovers Keep on Tickin'

In March of 2004, the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were expected to last only 90 days and to travel about 600 yards.Remarkably, both rovers have lasted for more than 900 days, and have traveled several miles.The thing that seems to be keeping these rovers going is the way that they are designed to collect and store energy.The rovers each have solar panels; so as long as dust does not collect too much on the panels, the rovers will continue to surprise scientists by lasting many more days and miles.The solar energy not only keeps the rovers moving, but it also heats them up when the nighttime temperatures become too frigid.
At one point, Opportunity got stuck and the researchers feared the worst, only to find that the best method for getting the rover moving again (a tried and true method on Earth) was to put it in reverse and "gun it." So, the rovers have proven to be stronger than ever expected.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2493314&page=1

Scientists worry about power on Spirit

The Mars rover Spirit is in a race against time to get into a safe location for the winter on Mars.A giant dust storm, preventing the rover from receiving any solar energy to power it.Rover operators only have a few weeks to get Spirit to a suitable location on the sunny side of a low north facing plateau before the amount of available sunlight becomes too depleted.Traveling is difficult because for everyday the rover travels it must then take a day to completely recharge.This means that the controllers on Earth have only seven different attempts to get the rover into a position where it can survive the harsh Martian winter.They are currently scrambling because the amount of sunlight decreases with each passing day.Following the huge dust storm, the ability of Spirit to collect solar energy has been significantly depleted and the machine is currently running at 42%.This is down from 50% that last winter and 70% the winter before.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/mars_rovers;_ylt=Aha1SOicTyZRjEWoYIxLib0pUKMB

Mars rover's broken wheel is beyond repair

Sadly, the broken wheel of the Mars rover Spirit has gotten so bad that it can no longer be fixed and rover operators will be force to drag it along in the future.This is a big factor in determining route choice because it means NASA rover operators must avoid any loose sediment when traveling on the Martian surface, meaning that they will have to plan longer and more elaborate traveling routes.The problems began when the wheel stopped turning, likely due to a broken circuit in the motor of the wheel.Several weeks later, the wheel came back to life and began to function again.But after a few more weeks, the wheel stopped working again and based upon diagnostic test completed on the voltage output of the motor, researchers believe that there is no hope at maintaining the wheel.This broken wheel will then just be dragged as the five other wheels of the rover continue to propel it.Researchers described it as driving in snow and having to now avoid snowbanks, a issue that they did not have when the wheel was functional.


http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn8944-mars-rovers-broken-wheel-is-beyond-repair.html

NASA'S Mars Rovers Head for New Sites After Studying Layers of Terrain

While the Mar rover Spirit has settled in for the winter, the rover Opportunity has begun its own drive towards a very unique study area in the hope of examining sediment layers for evidence of ancient surface water.It is currently doing so by travelling towards the giant Victoria Crater.So far, each rover has operated eight time longer than the three months originally planned for the mission and has driven about 7 kilometers, about 11 as far as originally planned.So far, the two rovers have combined for more than 150,000 different photographs.So far, the rovers have already confirmed that one Mars location was once wet enough to possibly support life.Opportunity had spent its last several months at the Erebus Crater, a highly eroded crater some 300 meters in diameter.It then began the 2 kilometer long journey to the Victoria Carter, approximately 800 meters in diameter.In the past 4 weeks, the Mars rover Opportunity has driven over one fourth of the total distance it needs to travel to reach to Victoria Crater.

http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20060412.164540&time=16%2055%20PDT&year=2006&public=1

Spirit rover takes detour for winter

The Mars rover Spirit is being force to survive the Martian winter in a new location because a broken wheel has severely hampered its ability to quickly travel across the Martian terrain.It is imperative that the rover spend the harsh winter months on a north facing slope so that the solar panels on the rover get enough solar energy to continue powering the machine.With the winter quickly approaching, researchers have begun to focus on getting the Mars rover in a location to ensure it will continue to be powered instead of attempting to continue scientific research of the Martian surface.The initial path chosen by the rover operators turned out to be too steep for the Mars rover and it had to be turned around and a new, less difficult but longer path was established.Currently, the rover operators are doing their best to get the Mars rover into a ideal location because the Martian winter comes in at full force.


http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-6060611-7.html

俄罗斯老妇与青年