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Wind Powered Mars Rover

Reuse Those Airbags for Sail Material
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My understanding is that rovers have a limited lifespan because gathering the energy from the solar panels fails due to dust, etc.

Use apparently plentiful Marsian winds both to get about and to recharge those batterries. Plus, would'nt it be fun to occasionally pick up some speed?

theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

roll along mars rover http://www.cnn.com/...ce/08/20/mars.ball/
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

nuclear mars rover http://www.upi.com/...040109-124428-2214r
midway through article, discussion of 2009 planned nuclear rover [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

This is an update on the Thumbleweed Rover http://www.usatoday...ed-rover-test_x.htm
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Too much of a risk of tilting over, I'd think. Plus they move exceedingly slow.
waugsqueke, Jan 07 2004

       Aren't they 6 wheeled? And per description, the speed is one of the things I'm looking to improve. And yes I realize they're slow on purpose.   

       Just lifting a small fan turbine might not be a bad idea, either. No tipping, and definitely recharging
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       At 10 milli bar pressure you may not get a lot of energy, but it would be better than nothing. I don't think there is a risk of tipping over.
kbecker, Jan 07 2004

       I was about to create another one but found the link on CNN. What could be interesting is for the existing wheeled rovers to deploy several of smaller "ball" rovers and just let them go where they may, uncontrolled, so long as they can get telemetry, video, etc.
theircompetitor, Jan 07 2004

       basically a robotic mars exploring helicopter? the problem with this idea is power. it would have to be electric. and that means limited power. the best idea i think would be to put a little nuke in it. but then that requires to things - a soft landing and very precise and very detailed computer control.
Space-Pope, Jan 08 2004

       actually, would an RTG necessarily require a really "soft landing"? The opponents of these have been pushing for a safety test, what better way? Though maybe on the moon first if we don't want to contaminate Mars too much.
theircompetitor, Jan 08 2004

       That artist "rendering" in the first link is a photoshopped soccerball. Sorry ... I can't help but to laugh.
Letsbuildafort, Jan 09 2004

       no prob -- wish photoshop could get me to Mars
theircompetitor, Jan 09 2004

       How about replacing one of those fancy cameras with a feather duster? Then the rover could clean it's own solar panels every couple of weeks.
TIB, Jan 09 2004

       Or maybe send them a Dust Devil.   

       Looks like the plans are for nuclear by the end of the decade
theircompetitor, Jan 09 2004

       hmm.. someone forgot about the fact that mars is getting few solar radiation, and it shall get even fewer in the months to come, since the mars-sun distance is increasing. oh, and [q2cannon],, what if the first layer takes off al the others? not to mention the fact that that plastic would absorb some energy itself..
sweet, Mar 05 2004

       q2: I updated the Thumbleweed link above -- while not necessarily putting a sail on a current rover design, clearly NASA thinks there's some merit in using the wind that way
theircompetitor, Mar 05 2004


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