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Mars NASA Space Science

Mars Rover Opportunity Sets Longevity Record 61

s31523 writes "The Mars rover Opportunity has beaten the original record of six years and 116 days operating on the surface of Mars, originally set by the Viking 1 Lander. While the Spirit rover has been on the surface longer than the Opportunity by three weeks, it has been out of communication since March 22. If Spirit comes back online, it will attain the new Martian surface longevity record. This feat, right on the heels of another longevity feat (Voyager 2 and twin on the verge of entering interstellar space and still kicking) is healing some of NASA's past black eyes. It is quite remarkable given original spec of 90 days for the mission. With the passing of the solstice, warmer temperatures and more sun will likely mean the rover will continue on."
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Mars Rover Opportunity Sets Longevity Record

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  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @03:55PM (#32297818) Journal

    How low are the specs for these missions are set if it's been operating for 25x longer than it was designed to?

    The problem is that the original specs were for U.S. standard time, and we now use metric time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:07PM (#32297988)
    In response to a recent propaganda barrage from the Blue World, K'Breel, Speaker for the Council, spake thus:

    "It has been seventeen years since the first pair of invaders from the blue planet dug the first trenches into our soil. Seventeen years during which we have waged war and succesfully held them at bay. Three years ago since this pair of mobile abominations landed. One has already been frozen in place forever, and the second is still half a year's drive from the defensive troops currently massing at at End-Devaur crater."

    "Our Planetary Land Defense Forces are ready, willing, and able to brave any conditions - even working in soils touched by poisonous, corrosive dihydrogen monoxide - in the defense of our world. Yes, the war goes on, but it goes on to victory!"

    When a junior reporter suggested that the first pair of stationary invaders were not the vanguard of a planetary invasion force, but were, in fact, merely passive weather observation stations, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs scooped out, mounted at right angles to each other atop the trench-digging invader's antenna mast, and used as an anemometer.

  • by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:11PM (#32298060) Journal

    It's remarkable in that M.O. Scotty tells Geordi in that novel turned episode, Relics:

    from imdb:

    Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Look, Mr. Scott, I'd love to explain everything to you. But the captain wants this spectrographic analysis done by 1300 hours.
    Scotty: [thinks about it some time] You mind a little advice? Starfleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their way. But the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.
    Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Yeah. Well, I told the captain I'd have this analysis done in an hour.
    Scotty: How long would it really take?
    Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: [annoyed] An hour!
    Scotty: [looks unbelieving] Oh. You didn't tell him how long it would REALLY take, did you?
    Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge: Of course I did.
    Scotty: Oh, laddie. You've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker.

    NASA Young Guy: This thing should last for 6 years easy!
    NASA Old Guy: Er my young peer means it should definitely last for 90 days. Anything past 90 days is amazing.

  • by zorro-z ( 1423959 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:11PM (#32298062)
  • by The Grim Reefer2 ( 1195989 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:13PM (#32298106)

    No one knew if there would be enough wind to wipe the dust off of the solar panels. That was the limiting factor, it was figured it could go for 90 days before its solar panels would be too dusted to power the rover.

    That, and the homeless martians keep squeegeeing the panels.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:22PM (#32298250)

    never had an asshole sunburn ?

  • by CraftyJack ( 1031736 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:47PM (#32298646)
    Leela: Depth at 45 hundred feet, 48 hundred, 50 hundred! 5000 feet!
    Farnsworth: Dear Lord, that's over 150 atmospheres of pressure.
    Fry: How many atmospheres can this ship withstand?
    Farnsworth: Well it's a spaceship, so I'd say anywhere between zero and one.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone