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Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Opportunity's Decade on Mars
NASA ^ | January 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)

Posted on 01/25/2014 3:09:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv

Explanation: On January 25 (UT) 2004, the Opportunity rover fell to Mars, making today the 10th anniversary of its landing. After more than 3,500 sols (Mars solar days) the golf cart-sized robot from Earth is still actively exploring the Red Planet, though its original mission plan was for three months. This self-portrait was made with Opportunity's panoramic camera earlier this month. The camera's supporting mast has been edited out of the image mosaic but its shadow is visible on the dusty solar panels arrayed across the rover's deck. For comparison, a similar self-portrait from late 2004 is shown in the inset. Having driven some 39 kilometers (24 miles) from its landing site, Opportunity now rests at Solander Point at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

January 25, 2014

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: apod; astronomy; mars; science
[Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State U.]

1 posted on 01/25/2014 3:09:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...
The Big One

2 posted on 01/25/2014 3:10:05 PM PST by SunkenCiv (;
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They need to drive it to a car wash.

3 posted on 01/25/2014 3:17:21 PM PST by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: Rio
They need to drive it to a car wash

A few years ago the solar panels looked like this and they were afraid they would have to shut the rover down. In the distance, just as they were powering down for the local night, the camera caught an image of a dust devil.

When they powered it up the next (Mars) morning, they had a lot more power. The dust devil had passed directly over the rover and cleaned off the panels.

So I guess the right thing is to hope for another dust devil - the Mars equivalent of a car wash. However, at a top speed of less than 1 mph, they won't have much luck trying to chase one down.
4 posted on 01/25/2014 3:22:55 PM PST by Phlyer
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To: SunkenCiv

I can’t believe I have followed this for ten years.

5 posted on 01/25/2014 3:32:33 PM PST by justrepublican (Screaming like a "Vexatious requester" at a Wellstone memorial...........)
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To: Phlyer

Or... Martians cleaned off the panels during the nightly power down?

6 posted on 01/25/2014 3:49:36 PM PST by Arthurio
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To: SunkenCiv
Cusriosity Photo!

Marvin says keep you hands off my Dunkin Donut!

7 posted on 01/25/2014 3:58:25 PM PST by Young Werther (Julius Caesar said "Quae cum ita sunt. Since these things are so.".)
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To: SunkenCiv
This thing represents the Gold Standard for embedded systems!

The RAD6000 mostly runs at less than 20mhz for power conservation...lots of time in sleep modes.

The rovers run a VxWorks embedded operating system on a radiation-hardened 20 MHz RAD6000 CPU with 128 MB of DRAM with error detection and correction and 3 MB of EEPROM. Each rover also has 256 MB of flash memory.

The rover has an X-Band low-gain and an X-Band high-gain antenna for communications to and from the Earth, as well as a UHF monopole antenna for relay communications. The low-gain antenna is omnidirectional, and transmits data at a low rate to Deep Space Network dish antennas on Earth

The data from the low-gain omni antenna can be picked up on Earth even if the power drops to only a small fraction of a can hear almost anything with a good LNA and a 300ft dish.

8 posted on 01/25/2014 3:58:56 PM PST by Bobalu (Happiness is a fast ISR)
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9 posted on 01/25/2014 4:16:38 PM PST by RedMDer (Happy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
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To: SunkenCiv

I don’t see any mountain lions.

10 posted on 01/25/2014 5:27:05 PM PST by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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