NASA Loses Rover!?

I just heard on the news that NASA hasn’t had contact with the Mars rover for over 24 hours! Does anybody know any details about this?

Here is what I heard:

No contact for 24 hours.
Last transmission was garbled nonsense.
Had just completed getting off of the landing platform and had succesfully taken a picture of the ramp.

Does anyone close to NASA know what could have gone wrong? This does not bode well for Bush’s new space program initiatives and budgets…

From what CNN said and from MSNBC, it seems as though it’s broadcasting, but not sending data.


For GOOD information I would check out the Mar Exploration Homepage. You know how news media can sometimes twist the truth to make the story sound better.

Mars Exploration Rover Mission Homepage


SPIRIT UPDATE: - Jan 22, 2004, 10:35 am PST
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit radioed a beep Thursday morning confirming that it had received a transmission from Earth. Still, it has not returned any data since early Wednesday. Flight-team engineers for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Project are working to diagnose the cause of communications difficulties.

Plans for Opportunity’s entry, descent, and landing are also underway. The spacecraft is on a correct course for its landing Saturday night, around 9:05 pm PST (Sunday, 5:05 am UTC).

the last message they got from it was a little garbled - it was:

&^@#@! NASA! all I do here is workworkworkworkwork ()() @#$(*& #@ Im going for a walk - I dont know when ill be back!

As long as its still confiriming comunications with a beep, then theres still hope - maybe they need to reload the SW, or tell it to reset itself?

Hope for the best!

OH NO! NASA just got another video image downloaded - it doesnt look good people!

Looks like a Martian terrorist!



HAHAH thats a great pic. Still no word from the rover :frowning: Well with the new one landing at least they have a second chance to do stuff, and with beeps coming back there is still hope.

Software trouble? “Curses! - I KNEW we shouldn’t have run the rover on Windows ME…”

HAHAHAHAHA - oh wait, we ran it on XP, but we relied on the Home edition, and we’re using standard networking to connect to the radio. :S

I heard a rumor that the rover found Beagle 2, felt sorry for it at first, nursed it back to health, and the two bots were last seen riding off into the Martian sunset together

holding hands.

The planet Mars has now been colonized!

Well, I hope they get a Nannybot to help take care of all the Nanobots they are planning on having…

So, the latest update from the Mission homepage:

“The flight team for NASA’s Spirit received data from the rover in a communication session that began at 13:26 Universal Time (5:26 a.m. PST) and lasted 20 minutes at a data rate of 120 bits per second.”

There’s more about it on the web site Kyle linked to.


January 23, 2004

Mars Exploration Rover Updated Mission Status

The flight team for NASA’s Spirit received data from the rover in a communication session that began at 13:26 Universal Time (5:26 a.m. PST) and lasted 20 minutes at a data rate of 120 bits per second.

“The spacecraft sent limited data in a proper response to a ground command, and we’re planning for commanding further communication sessions later today,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager Pete Theisinger at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The flight team at JPL had sent a command to Spirit at 13:02 Universal Time (5:02 PST) via the NASA Deep Space Network antenna complex near Madrid, Spain, telling Spirit to begin transmitting.

this is where NASA could really use a person with proven Telekinesis abilities :c)

They’re still trying to figure out what’s going on. The leading theory is that the flight software may have a bug that caused the hardware to “safe” the rover until it could “phone home”, which has happened.


Another article
Aparently the rover is reseting itself day and night. Why? No one knows and the rover can not even make up it’s mind. The thing keeps on reseting for differnt reasons.

Interrupts = evil!

Press Release - January 23, 2004

“We should expect we will not be restoring functionality to Spirit for a significant amount of time – many days, perhaps two weeks – even in the best of circumstances,” said Peter Theisinger, rover project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Thought this was interesting.

Spirit’s flight software is not functioning normally. It appears to have rebooted the rover’s computer more than 60 times in the past three days. A motor that moves a mirror for the rover’s infrared spectrometer was partway through an operation when the problem arose, so the possibility of a mechanical problem with that hardware will be one theory investigated.

“We believe, based on everything we know now, we can sustain the current state of the spacecraft from a health standpoint for an indefinite amount of time,” Theisinger said. That will give the team time to work on the problem.