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 04.16.18

Airborne-UnManned 04.17.18

Airborne 04.18.18

AMA Drone Report 04.19.18

Airborne 04.20.18

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne 04.16.18

Airborne-UnManned 04.17.18

Airborne 04.18.18

AMA Drone Report 04.19.18

Airborne 04.20.18

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

Rotax Receives Award At AERO Friedrichshafen

Recognized As 'Best Drive Train' By The German Aviation Magazine 'aerokurier' BRP-Rotax aircraft engines have named "Best Powertrain" by German aviation magazine ‘aerokurier&>[...]

FAA To Issue AD For CFM56-7B Fan Blades

Engine Type That Powered Southwest 737 Involved In Uncontained Engine Failure The FAA will issue an Airworthiness Directive (AD) within the next two weeks that will require inspect>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 04.17.18: XPO 2018, Drone Broadcasts, Airbus Inspection Drone

Also: NZ AFB Drone Incident, Police UAVs, Inaugural Drone Boot Camp, Predator 5M Flight Hours This is it! THE major unmanned exposition of the year -- AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2018 starts >[...]

AMA Drone Report 04.19.18: AMA Leadership, FAA Reauthorization, Coachella

Also: New French Regs, Drone Boot Camp, Public Safety Drone Standards, DroneShield Protects NASCAR It’s a little bit sad and yet a bit cool to see AMA make an exciting change>[...]

Airborne 04.20.18: Continental Jet-A Seminole, SWA Fallout, NYC NIMBY's Helo's

Also: Teamsters Talk Allegiant, Coleman Young Airport, Miracle Flights, IN Av Repair Biz Cleared Piper has selected the Continental Motors CD-170 compression ignition engine fueled>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2018 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC