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Spirit Rover Reaches Safety 147

dylanduck writes "Good news for rover fans - Spirit is safe for the winter. It had been heading for a north-tilting spot to make sure its solar panels got enough sunlight during the imminent winter to survive, when a sand trap appeared. But, despite its busted wheel, it scooted round and is now sitting pretty. From the article: 'We've got a safe rover,' says principal investigator Steve Squyres. 'That's huge news for us.'"
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Spirit Rover Reaches Safety

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  • Re:Tough decisions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @05:46PM (#15101626)
    > Yes, its made of rock.
    > Now wheres the damn aliens we were promised.

    We're right here, you ugly bag of mostly-water. Your master of psychotropically-voyaging primates is presently unavailable, and the Council has temporarily deigned to occupy waterbag 54550 to answer your pathetic cries.

    Once more, panic swept across the beaches of Low Ridge Haven during the Late Autumn Festivals. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council, stressed that there was no cause for alarm:

    "The evil blue planet continues to attempt to make war against us. They think that by depriving our wonderful, finely-layered bedrock outcrops of warmth and light during the winter, they will secure some measure of thermal victory. Let me assure you, that is far from the truth. I laugh at the pathetic solar siphoning techniques employed by the armored vehicles of the evil blue planet!"
    When asked if rumors were true that blue-planet-inhabitants' armored vehicle was just catching some sweet rays over the winter, K'Breel denounced him as a traitor and wrapped his gelsac duct around each of the five remaining functional drive motors of the invaders' vehicle.
  • Re:Well now, (Score:2, Informative)

    by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @06:06PM (#15101751)
    I don't see any problem with the Apollo missions. Those were NASA and manned.

    The shuttle came into play when NASA decided to send up experiments with the astronauts. The bay gave them a massive storage space to play with. Problem is the shuttle burned out long ago. It's well past warranty and needs a replacement badly...cept we're stuck with the shuttle until the ISS is finished since parts are built with the shuttle's bay in mind.

    No other rocket in service has the storage space like the shuttle does if I remember right

    As far as success with unmanned missions... NASA gets burned hard when they lose a probe and Mars is up to what, 3 lost now? These rovers are starting to cancel the memory of those out.
  • by BadassJesus ( 939844 ) on Monday April 10, 2006 @06:56PM (#15102062)
    "McCool Hill", "Low Ridge Haven"

    What a nice names! One thing I love about English and English naming in general is that English really cares about places and good naming habbits in general.

    Most of the Americans take it as "a normal thing", but don't forget people that there are still nations and languges that do not care, they use latin characters like a whore, take languages of eastern Europe for example, full of phoneticaly written words that use latin characters in inproper/bad way. God bless America for choosing English. I myself speak two other languages in work and home, but more I know about English the more I like it. God safe Mars from Polish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Czech language influences.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @01:04AM (#15103793)
    Not exactly. The only reason the military requirements got tacked on was because NASA had a hard time selling the original shuttle program to Congress, so they asked the military if they wanted to join the program. While this helped get the program through Congress, it led to the boondoggle we have right now.
  • Re:Tough decisions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @06:20AM (#15104476) Homepage
    The american design has something missing. It is called a CLUTCH. Yeah, I know, an extremely foreign concept for 95%+ of the American population.

    Every american car has a clutch - in 95%+ of the cases it's just not operated by the driver, so I hardly doubt they were unaware. I'm sure there are good reasons why they didn't include it, such as reducing complexity and weight. It outlived its design life by far, and even when one fails it's still reasonably operable. Hell, we still got a twin where all wheels are still in perfect condition. The logic was probably that if the probe suffered direct trauma to destroy a wheel, the probe was probably FUBAR anyway, and the chance of a random failure was very slim.
  • Re:Tough decisions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Guysmiley777 ( 880063 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @10:57AM (#15105734)
    Did you ever consider that in the gritty, dusty Martian soil a clutch would be adding something ELSE that can fail as well as adding weight?

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.