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Stoned Idea for NASA (but too little too late)

Discussion in 'General' started by Pot Geek, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has two rovers on the plantet mars, Spirit and Oppourtunity. Spirit ran into some technical problems and stopped communicating, however, Oppourtunity was working fine. What I gues I wonder if why, if they're both on the planet, they can't use radio to talk to EACH OTHER. Maybe they could have had Spirit rebooted a week ago. :)
  2. No, no, that's not what I meant. I meant that they should have had the two rovers in communication with each other, and NASA then could have used Oppourtunity as a proxy to bounce the "reboot" message off of to get Spirit to reboot.
  3. The main problem with this is that there's about 4,200 miles of rock between them, being on opposite sides of the planet. Also, they often use the Mars Global Surveyor orbiter to relay communications to and from the rovers. I don't think that the problem was communication itself, but the rover not responding correctly to communication.
  4. well if nasa can't contact one, most likely the other cannot contact it either. since they're both the same distance from nasa, it's not really beneficial to bounce a message off one to another. might as well send it direct.
  5. Wasn't it a software problem? I don't think it ever actually lost communication, in fact I know that the only reason it "lost" communitcation was because it had a problem but it wasn't sending an error signal that it should have.
    Still, it is a pretty good idea, ignoring the whole opposite sides of the planet thing Sun mentioned!
  6. if they already have a satelite orbiting mars then the opposite sides of the planet thing wouldn't matter.
  7. Anyways, its great to see that people can have an actual intelligent conversation. I think that Nasa should have programs built in the bots to detect problems b4 they get to that point, and as slow as the rovers move, it would take a looooong time to get to the others. The satellite should be able to handle all the data that needs to be communicated.....now excuse me while I hit htis up...

  8. Yeah, it was a software issue. Spirit and Opportunity had different software packages. They weren't identical.

    If I'm not mistaken, both were programmed in C and stored in an integrated system (I.E. no operating system).

    The software issue (and you know what I mean if you know the C programming language) is some jerk programming it called an integer variable instead of a floating or doublefloating point precision number.

    This means in some very valuble variable, a floating point number (i.e. 15.3774 in a 64 bit or 128 bit memloc) got stored as an integer (i.e. 15 in a 32bit memloc) and everything after was a downward spiral.

    This is similar to the software issue encountered by one of the space probes... Voyager I think. That went hurtling off into space.

    You'd think they'd get it right the second time around.
  9. Umm, who said they were supposed to drive across the whole planet? Also, the total cost was about $820 million, still small change in the scheme of our economic deficiencies.

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