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Travelling to the channels, Extraordinarily unlikely
centsworth_II
post Aug 18 2011, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (ilbasso @ Aug 18 2011, 10:21 AM) *
... Would it make sense....
laugh.gif
Of course the only thing that makes sense is to build a new rover with whatever improvements you think Oppy should have and send it wherever you think Oppy should go... or somewhere better. A repair mission would be no cheaper.
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Guest_Bobby_*
post Aug 18 2011, 10:28 PM
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Attn: Centsworth_ll Lets send another rover up there to repair Opportunity and once it's mission is done. Send the new rover to The Channels while
Opportunity drives around Endeavor or drives all the way into The Crater???
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bigdipper
post Aug 19 2011, 09:49 PM
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Seeing Oppy's mission continue another 8 years .... PRICELESS.
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PaulM
post Aug 20 2011, 08:24 AM
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It is arguable that the life expectancy of a MER rover should be measured not in SOLs but in kilometres driven. I think for example that over the rough terrain that Spirit was driving two wheels were always going to fail when Spirit had driven 7.73 kilometres. What this means is that if hypothetically Oppy's "wheels" were to last for another 5 km then it could be anything between 1 and 8 years before Oppy becomes a stationary Lander.

There is therefore a good case for Oppy IDDing every rock in sight and not travelling more than a few meters each month. There are probably enough different rock types for Oppy to IDD around Cape York and Cape Tribulation to last the rest of the mission. I do not think that Oppy's wheels could cope with the drive to the channels no matter how much time was available.

I would be interested to know if JPL could have got more driving out of Spirit if they knew then what they know now? Presumably in retrospect they would have alternated driving directions on the trip to the Columbia Hills? Does rock climbing wear out wheels faster than driving on the flat?
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tanjent
post Aug 20 2011, 01:40 PM
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PaulM, those words make good sense to me. Field discoveries usually lead to a series of new questions before the answers begin to emerge - we don't know how long a process we are embarked upon at the present site given the already-degraded condition of the instruments. Only if this location proves to be a lot less interesting than we have every reason to expect it to be would we want to consider consuming any more of the rover's uncertain life expectancy in long-distance travel. Bring up the channels issue again in two years; if we still have any mobility, maybe I'll be able to muster some enthusiasm.
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PaulM
post Jan 16 2012, 06:25 PM
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I am wondering if Oppy will be cleaned by the wind before the next Winter. I read that winds have been observed in the last decade moving sand dunes on the floor of Endeavour crater between Cape Tribulation and the central peak.

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JE003675.shtml

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mer/mult...y/pia13708.html

I therefore wonder if Oppy should head for these dunes in a year's time if no cleaning occurs. Perhaps when Oppy has driven down the side of Cape Tribulation, sampling the clays all the way, it should carry on to the active dunes. I guess that this plan might not be "following the water". However, a live rover photographing active sand dunes is probably better than a dead rover sampling clays.
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fredk
post Jan 16 2012, 08:04 PM
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I hadn't seen that paper before - I see that it includes an "inverse polar" view of Endeavour from James! Congratulations on getting your technique recognized!
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