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(Wired)   Mars 1984 Rover-Orbiter-Penetrator Missions... Giggity   (wired.com) divider line 13
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3068 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Jul 2012 at 3:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-30 04:47:19 AM
The MSWG envisioned that the Mars 1984 rovers would be "substantial vehicles" capable of traveling up to 150 kilometers in two years at a rate of 300 meters per day.
And it would have been launched in 1984.


Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the travel rate of the Curiosity rover.


Maximum terrain-traverse speed is estimated to be 90 m (300 ft) per hour by automatic navigation; average traverse speeds will likely be about 30 m (98 ft) per hour, based on variables including power levels, terrain difficulty, slippage, and visibility. MSL is expected to traverse a minimum of 19 km (12 mi) in its two-year mission.
So, a rover launched in 1984 would have had a speed in range of the Curiosity rover due to arrive at Mars next week. Nope.
It was a fascinating idea at the time, and I was not aware of this piece of space history. It just needed 30 years of technological advancement to become a reality.
 
2012-07-30 03:09:25 PM
Rover? I hardly know'er.
 
2012-07-30 03:09:39 PM
Imagine where we would be now if nasa got as much tax money as lockheed martin
 
2012-07-30 03:11:14 PM
If I were in a group of scientists sending a rover to Mars, I would hide a few deployable human skulls to scatter on the planet's surface. Then the next group of scientists pissing away money on a Mars rover could actually report an interesting finding. Or maybe instead of throwing all the money into this multi-billion dollar Lego projects, we could spend it to put people back to work building roads and repairing bridges. Why should a small handful of people get such a disproportionate amount of the money? It's neither productive nor fair.
 
2012-07-30 03:21:23 PM

Baron Harkonnen: The MSWG envisioned that the Mars 1984 rovers would be "substantial vehicles" capable of traveling up to 150 kilometers in two years at a rate of 300 meters per day.
And it would have been launched in 1984.


Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the travel rate of the Curiosity rover.


Maximum terrain-traverse speed is estimated to be 90 m (300 ft) per hour by automatic navigation; average traverse speeds will likely be about 30 m (98 ft) per hour, based on variables including power levels, terrain difficulty, slippage, and visibility. MSL is expected to traverse a minimum of 19 km (12 mi) in its two-year mission.
So, a rover launched in 1984 would have had a speed in range of the Curiosity rover due to arrive at Mars next week. Nope.
It was a fascinating idea at the time, and I was not aware of this piece of space history. It just needed 30 years of technological advancement to become a reality.


...... they didn't have batteries back then, or electrical motors? Are you high? Pray tell, kind sir, how submarines worked in WWII and what kind of animal did they use to pull the Lunar Rover????

A space donkey, perhaps, or a vacuum bear.
 
2012-07-30 03:23:31 PM
old news
 
2012-07-30 04:23:08 PM
That rover looks like it would tip over really easily.
 
2012-07-30 04:42:47 PM
images.hemmings.com

what a real mars rover looks like
 
2012-07-30 04:57:24 PM

Baron Harkonnen: The MSWG envisioned that the Mars 1984 rovers would be "substantial vehicles" capable of traveling up to 150 kilometers in two years at a rate of 300 meters per day.
And it would have been launched in 1984.


Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the travel rate of the Curiosity rover.


Maximum terrain-traverse speed is estimated to be 90 m (300 ft) per hour by automatic navigation; average traverse speeds will likely be about 30 m (98 ft) per hour, based on variables including power levels, terrain difficulty, slippage, and visibility. MSL is expected to traverse a minimum of 19 km (12 mi) in its two-year mission.
So, a rover launched in 1984 would have had a speed in range of the Curiosity rover due to arrive at Mars next week. Nope.
It was a fascinating idea at the time, and I was not aware of this piece of space history. It just needed 30 years of technological advancement to become a reality.


Or, it might be a failure of both vision and finances. There's no reason to assume it couldn't have been done in 1984 just because it wasn't, any more than there's any reason to assume we couldn't have gone to the Moon much earlier than we did. If you watch the miniseries 'From the Earth to the Moon,' it's pretty clear that politics and money decide the timing of these things, more than the science. The anime 'Wings of Honnêamise' explores an alternate history where all this happened with the equivalent of WW2 technology -- which it very well could have been. All the essential technical needs of the Apollo programme could have been met 20 years earlier.
 
2012-07-30 05:21:48 PM

spentmiles: If I were in a group of scientists sending a rover to Mars, I would hide a few deployable human skulls to scatter on the planet's surface. Then the next group of scientists pissing away money on a Mars rover could actually report an interesting finding. Or maybe instead of throwing all the money into this multi-billion dollar Lego projects, we could spend it to put people back to work building roads and repairing bridges. Why should a small handful of people get such a disproportionate amount of the money? It's neither productive nor fair.


Raid NASA's budget, get enough money to build one or two bridges in Bumfark, Nowhere. Or do science that benefits all of mankind for a teeny tiny fraction of the federal budget. The amount of your taxes that goes to NASA annually couldn't buy a dinner at a good restaurant.

You want a fat, juicy, useless slush fund to raid, look at the Pentagon.
 
2012-07-30 06:06:31 PM

What_Would_Jimi_Do: [images.hemmings.com image 450x258]

what a real mars rover looks like


I wonder if Curiosity needlessly explodes when its job is done as well

/My friend and I still make jokes about Johnny Cab
 
2012-07-30 08:56:45 PM

Baron Harkonnen: The MSWG envisioned that the Mars 1984 rovers would be "substantial vehicles" capable of traveling up to 150 kilometers in two years at a rate of 300 meters per day.
And it would have been launched in 1984.


If this mission would have been approved, developed, and set to Mars it would almost certainly have been less capable than the initial proposal for the reason that almost always happen: budget cuts in general, taking budget from rover and spending it on something else, and cost overruns and delays on the rover itself.

And even without any cut backs on the rover itself, I don't believe 150 km in two years. While being able to travel 300 m in a day is not impossible-- "Opportunity" has done 200 m in a day -- I don't see this being a daily event. Indeed it is like the person making these details know nothing about how scientists would run an actual Mars rover. Targets are routinely examined for days. An important target might be examined for weeks. Also potential targets are usually less than 300 meters apart. You generally want to study targets as they come along because you never know how long the rovers will last.

Let's see what Wikipedia has to say about the travel rate of the Curiosity rover.


Maximum terrain-traverse speed is estimated to be 90 m (300 ft) per hour by automatic navigation; average traverse speeds will likely be about 30 m (98 ft) per hour, based on variables including power levels, terrain difficulty, slippage, and visibility. MSL is expected to traverse a minimum of 19 km (12 mi) in its two-year mission.
So, a rover launched in 1984 would have had a speed in range of the Curiosity rover due to arrive at Mars next week. Nope.
It was a fascinating idea at the time, and I was not aware of this piece of space history. It just needed 30 years of technological advancement to become a reality.


I said 300 m in a day was not impossible. But it would have been improbable with 1980s tech. "Opportunity," "Spirit," and "Curiosity" have the advantage of far better orbiters which are invaluable in mapping for the mission. They need considerable software to move the rovers safely -- the Martian surface can destroy a rover that is over eager to get someplace. A rover can also get stuck like both "Spirit" and "Opportunity" experienced. And of course, "Spirit" getting stuck at a bad place resulted in its loss because it unable to place itself in a good spot to survive winter.

So, you are right they really did need 30 years of advancement to make that "1984" concept a reality.
 
2012-07-30 09:34:11 PM
I might point out that there is in development to drop a network of penetrator type landers.
 
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