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End of an era: Mars rover Opportunity dead after 15 years

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slightly oot, but I really hope we have come contact with aliens before I die..
 

FordGT90Concept

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Something like Boston Dynamics doggy to cover more distance ? :)
Was literally thinking the same thing. Send a robot to fix the other robot...

But not likely because Curiosity...
 

qubit

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bug

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It is assumed it's not dead, but that the storm has covered its solar panels so it can't fuel itself anymore. Though it's possible the storm did other damage as well.
 
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Something like Boston Dynamics doggy to cover more distance ? :)
Not sure if you know, but that robot is powered by an ICE (gasoline engine).

It requires quite a lot of mechanical effort to move and jump, and it gets all it's power from converting torque of the ICE, via multiple specialized automatic transmissions. It's literally a car with legs.
(Also why it's so noisy in operation).
 
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I guess when NASA finally lands guys on Mars they'll make sure they pop over to the one that got dusted and hit it with a swiffer to restart it.

See - Good as new.
It's amazing that a machine only designed to last just 90 days stretched that out into years but again NASA is known for over-engineering things to make sure it works at all.

I mean look at the Voyager probes.
One is still functioning to this day, abelit very limitedly but still works. If there was a way to "Refuel" it, could probrably go another 40 years or so and the other one probrably could too.
 

FordGT90Concept

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Lithium-ion batteries can only handle upwards of 4000 charge cycles. It was on 4831.

Voyager probes use an RTG like Curiosity does. They are expected to not produce enough power to run instruments around 2025 which is when the program will be canceled.
 
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I almost cried when I saw this. Sorry in advance...
 
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Opportunity died a noble death.
How amazing this sturdy little rover kept on chugging is only eclipsed by the data it provided.
 
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I almost cried when I saw this. Sorry in advance...
I did shed a small tear whilst double checking data in my office.
 

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Indeed, it's easy to forget how far technology has come since this probe was designed.
Not to mention its probably running some radiation hardened 400mhz RISC CPU. Alot of people forget we are ultra far away from startrek because they dont send our tech into space.
 

OneMoar

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FordGT90Concept

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For giggles, Voyager computers don't even have a clock chip to give it a frequency...
https://web.archive.org/web/20110721050617/http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/faq.html
There are three different computer types on the Voyager spacecraft and there are two of each kind. Total number of words among the six computers is about 32K.

Computer Command System (CCS) - 18-bit word, interrupt type processors (2) with 4096 words each of plated wire, non-volatile memory.

Flight Data System (FDS) - 16-bit word machine (2) with modular memories and 8198 words each

Attitude and Articulation Control System (AACS) - 18-bit word machines (2) with 4096 words each.

According to my calulations, that's a total of about 68KB, or small potatoes compared to today's microprocessors. We probably could perform all functions with one of today's boards and still have room for solid state data storage and much more fault detection software. We would still need a second unit for redundancy. Today's microprocessors are also much faster than the chips used on Voyager and a comparative system would use less electrical power. On the other hand, software might be more complicated as opposed to that used in an interrupt type system, but it would be much more capable and more flexible.

Let's look closer at the CCS. The CCS has two main functions: to carry out instructions from the ground to operate the spacecraft, and to be alert for a problem or malfunction and respond to it. Two identical 4096- word memories contain both fixed routines (about 2800 words) and a variable section (about 1290 words) for changing science sequences. The CCS issues commands to the AACS for movement of the scan platform or spacecraft maneuvers; to the FDS for changes in instrument configurations or telemetry rates and to numerous other subsystems within the spacecraft for specific actions. Fault-protection algorithms are also stored in the CCS, occupying roughly 10 percent of the CCS memory.

The main functions of the FDS are to collect data from, and controls the operations of, the scientific instruments; and to format engineering and science data for on-board storage and/or real-time transmission. The FDS also keeps the spacecraft "time" and provides frequency references to the instruments and other spacecraft subsystems.

The Voyager spacecraft computers are interrupt driven computer, similar to processors used in general purpose computers with a few special instructions for increased efficiency. The programming is a form of assembly language.

There is no clock chip, as such, in the spacecraft. The "clock" is really a counter, based on one of several electronically generated frequencies. These frequencies, based on a reference, generated by a very stable oscillator, are converted and fed to different locations in the spacecraft as synchronization signals, timers, counters, etc. The "clock" signal is part of the information telemetered to the ground and it is with ground software that we convert to day of year, time of day Greenwich Mean Time.

Voyager was built in-house at JPL; the computers were manufactured by General Electric to JPL specifications.
Curiosity has a newer RAD750 which is clocked between 110-200 MHz.
 
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