|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Spirit (rover) article.|
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Somebody already made a reference to the Mars rock in Adirondack disambiguation page. So I went ahead and created the Adirondack (Mars) page taking content from the Adirondack section of MER-A (with slight modification). Obviously, now there's redundancy. Can I remove the Adirondack section from the MER-A page? - Kums 19:58, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
- Ok. I removed the section. The reason for this is 1)The MER-A Page is getting lengthy. 2) Adirondack has its own page. -- Kums 04:27, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
UTC for Time and dates
Should we not use UTC for times and dates? Seems more appropriate as Mars is not exactly on PST :-) SmilingBoy 01:27, 6 Jan 2004 (UTC)
- Yes and no. All the Mars reports come out of NASA JPL, which is located in California and definitely not UTC. - UtherSRG 02:57, 6 Jan 2004 (UTC)
- As another note, if you're going to use days of the week (Monday etc) in the text, then you should include them in the dates of the timeline (Not simply "March 4" but "Thursday. March 4")DavidA 20:19 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think we should use a changing "Current plan" section if people want to record expected activities day by day. I introduced that recently, but it just went away. I think the timeline should include brief notes on what has what actually happened (the facts), and it should be expressed in the past tense like most such sections of wikipedia. This requires changes in the early part of the timeline. NealMcB 22:26, 2004 Jan 14 (UTC)
- In a couple of months both of these rovers will be dead, and I expect there will be a big overhaul of these articles with "past tense" in mind. :) Currently there's a heck of a lot of minute-by-minute minutiae included in here, and once the mission is finished we'll be able to go through it all with a more historical perspective, trimming down on some of the stuff that turned out to be irrelevant after all. I'm thinking specifically of the speculation and status of Spirit's flash crisis, but I'm sure there will be other things. Bryan 20:36, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
The quotes from today's breifeings are quite messy and have some dictation errors. If you see any typos, feel free to correct them. Sennheiser 18:37, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
What OS does the rover's computer use and what did it use to manage flash memory? - Logotu 22:29, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- VxWorks from Wind River Systems. -- rbs, 2004-02-09 22:46 (UTC)
- Yes, and you could have found this out at the Mars Exploration Rover Mission article. --Sennheiser! 22:45, 9 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- Logotu hangs head in shame for having missed it
- But not a single mention of "Spirit was willing but the Flash was weak?" *cough* --JohnDBuell 01:57, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
- Bastard! ;-) JamesHoadley 11:37, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Wow! I didn't know that there were green rocks on mars! NASA 22:24, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)
- There aren't. The photos' colors were stretched to enhance differences in color, however the color of green is not real. Riffsyphon1024 05:37, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
- Well, Mars is a big place. There are probably green rocks somewhere. But we're not seeing them in these photos. (Good assignment for somebody - "Find the real green rocks on Mars") -- 184.108.40.206 00:47, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Nice first image at the top there Rbs!
Watch out with [nasa.gov]'s updates, they sometimes get the date wrong:
- sol 55, Feb 29, 2004
- Spirit used its rock abrasion tool for brushing the dust off three patches of a rock called "Humphrey," during its 55th sol on Mars, ending at 5:53 p.m. Saturday,
Anyone suggest a better table of contents layout? I've added an initial section ==Introduction== to trigger the TOC there, but I don't feel that's the best location... moved further down maybe?
- The apparent error in date on the MarsRovers site is almost certainly because of an inconsistency in time zones. Sol 55 for MER-A did end at 5:53:34 p.m. on Feb 28 if you're using PST for your local clock. But in UTC was 01:53:34 on Feb 29. I have been sorely tempted to go through the entire article and change all "Earth timestamps" to UTC.
- I figured the only quick way to fill the space alongside the TOC would be a tall, medium-width photo. The page could use a few more photos anyway. - Rbs 00:44, 2004 Mar 2 (UTC)
Spirit Archive copy
NASA's Report archive only goes back to sol 33, Feb 05, 2004, so I copied what's there to subpage Talk:MER-A/reports in case we need to fill in some MER-A timeline gaps from early February. Wikibob 20:08, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)
image for this page
I've just uploaded this what lies ahead map from NASA for MER-A:
Mars MER-A what lies ahead sol 59
This map shows the path the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will travel toward its future target, the large crater dubbed "Bonneville." The red line indicates Spirit's travels up to the 59th martian day, or sol, of its journey, and the blue line, the route it will follow. Engineers pinpointed the rover's exact location by comparing images taken by the panoramic camera on the rover (inset panels) to those acquired during descent by the descent image motion estimation system camera (underlying map).
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/Ohio State University
Wikibob 00:28, 2004 Mar 8 (UTC)
Ring shaped object. Interesting enough for this page?
Can anyone explain what this ring shaped object is? uploaded from Nasa, Sol 65, MER-A, Microscopic and Pan Cam images.
It's obviously a space ship. How else would the Martians be able to abduct people? They tried to hide it under the sand but didn't do a very good job, did they. :=) pir 14:26, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- LOL. I first thought the Rover was losing pieces, but other images show it is the raised central mark left by the grinding tool, before the dust is brushed away. The rock was particularly smooth and left a smooth disc-like impression, unlike the earlier samples which were porous and granular.-Wikibob 13:58, 2004 Mar 15 (UTC)
You're right it is an artifact of the rover's investigations. But I think what we're actually seeing is compressed sand rather than ground rock (prompted by your comment I went back to look at other images and I found some similar but less ambiguous pictures. The semi-circular footprint is left by an instrument that looks at soil chemistry (I forget the name), then imaged so that the physical properties of the soil/sand can be inferred from the way it is pressed down... Thanks for helping to clear this up! Washington Irving | Talk 14:22, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This is an imprint in soft soil of the Mossbauer spectrometer contact plate. The Mossbauer contact plate is often used during Instrument Deployment Device (aka "arm") operations to determine the actual distance to the soil so that subsequent movements are spot on rather than subject to the +/- 1 cm or so accuracy of the stereo range finding. Kevingrozni (talk) 18:08, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
The timelines are getting very long and I'd soon like to split them into months, mainly to help readers, as there's no problem with editing yet. I'm happy to keep pasting in NASA's daily reports, even though these will probably be edited down in the future, but please say if anyone has any other ideas. -Wikibob | Talk 22:18, 2004 Apr 1 (UTC)
more images uploaded for page
These images were uploaded and added to MER-A timeline
I noticed links to RAT on the MER-B article, which yesterday went to a disambiguation page that didn't have Rock Abrasion Tool listed. I added it, fixed up the links on the MER-A and MER-B articles, and wrote a Rock Abrasion Tool stub. I know that the RAT is covered on the Mars Exploration Rover article, but that article is getting very long and Wikipedia is now warning against expanding it and in favor of splitting it into multiple articles.
I just thought that those who contribute this content should know this. You might want to tear down my stub and link back to the MER article, or the MER article folks might want to start setting up separate articles for instrumentation and etc. I leave it to others.
Jeff Medkeff 01:22, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)
- It might be running out of space due to all the pictures on it. And the same could be happening here. Maybe if each of those items was covered with its own article, then the pictures could be re-routed to those new articles. For example: my post on Pot of Gold Rock. If enough is known about this particular rock, then it could get its own article much like Adirondack did. Riffsyphon1024 05:42, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Why the maddeningly obscure article title?
- I am now proposing to rename the articles on the two rovers. Discussion at Talk:MER-B--Pharos 07:32, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
- I left a message for the user that changed the title of this article. Please discuss at above talk page! Awolf002 14:47, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Is it Sol or sol?
While typing the word "sol", I'm not sure if it should be capitalized when put along with a day (i.e. Sol 354 vs. a sol). Half the "sol"s in the article are capitalized, half undercase. So what should the standard be? Riffsyphon1024 18:40, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
- Judging by Time and date and astronomy on Mars#Keeping track of sols, counts of sols elapsed on Mars should be capitalised.
- Urhixidur 00:47, 2005 Jan 29 (UTC)
Introduction picture issues?
Why can't I see any image very first image on this page, "Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera image of Spirit's landing site"? Is anyone else having this problem? Semiconscious (talk · home) 08:58, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
We're trying to improve the opening Summary, picture placement. I had the Husband Hill photo near top, on my screen it did not ruin text layout, apparently on some screens it does. Also, when I put the rover model on I was totaly incapable of putting any text under the picture. It would accept the text from a copy paste from another photo on the page but not when I would put the text in from the picture I loaded in Commons. I also don't like all the white space in the article to the left of small pictures. I'd rather somehow consolidating somehow text and / or pictures or something to get rid of the white space. Kyle Andrew Brown 01:32, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
- Yes, more good text and fewer pictures would help a lot with that. I think we need to clean up things that were added in the "heat of the moment" when this was a heavily edited page. I will try to work on a good summary/intro and change the current one over this weekend. Awolf002 01:41, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
- I agree that this article needs cleanup, and the images better arranged rather than simply left out of the article. Since not much has happened in the past few months, other than the climb, I stopped contributing to it and moved on, but I'd be glad to try and help again. Also the timelines for both rovers could be added from JPL's site with daily updates, although they're not as daily now. Opportunity rover should have the same cleanup. -- Riffsyphon1024 02:02, September 3, 2005 (UTC)
There is a cultural connection between Mars missions and 3D
The full color 3D conversion was done in the most advanced methodology. Please allow the tiny alternative to co-exist with the larger rover image. Millions of Kids and Space Exploration fans have 3D glasses, and the new "stereo" solar mission is soon to launch.
3dnatureguy 06:25, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
"First color photograph", etc. is clearly stating that Spirit is taking color photos. This is not true in the stict sense. The color images are constructed by taking photos of the same thing using different filters. Note that the filters are not the same as the RBG pigments in the human eye thus the color is not exactly what a human would see. Also one would hope the lighting does not change too much in the time it takes to take the photos: usually three (six if one takes photos with both left and right cameras). It would be more accurate to say, the "first color image released" or "first color image generated." MichaelSH 01:55, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
- You raise good points, but at the same time you don't want to obscure that the Pancam is a multispectral instrument. Perhaps "first color image generated from rover data"? Eluchil404 02:21, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Could someone please explain this sentence at the end of the color photos section: "This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, as this image, received on 6 January 2004, is about one eighth of a single pancam panorama and isn't stereo." I've added a clarify tag; obviously, the writer is familiar with the equipment, but most readers are not. Bry9000 (talk) 21:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I changed "mission patch" to read "launch patch". The launch patches stem from the 1SLS (the Air Force squadron in charge of the Delta launch range), not from NASA. Geoffrey.landis 20:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
World trade metal
I'm to lazy to look up how to correct this properly right now but the citation for the thing about the world trade center metal... well... it appeared in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/07/science/07mars.html?ex=1100876165&ei=1&en=b1c55b27760922a2
- It is often called the "Spirit rover", though plain "Spirit" is perhaps more common. I would tnd to oppose a move as unnecessary but am willing to listen to other opinions. Eluchil404 15:35, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Even though NASA scientists refer to the rover as a "she" (i.e. "she has landed near a new crater) it should be refered to as an "it" on this page. This page is about facts, and it is a fact that the rover is an inanimate object with no gender. So I have changed the "She's" and "Her's" to "It's", because that is more encylclopedia like. Pacman 21:28, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
- Female pronouns are used for ships all the time, I don't see the difference. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 23:15, 16 March 2007 (UTC).
The 2004 section is missing all its links... where have they gone? Were they ever there? EAi 22:33, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
In the article it gives the landing point as "at latitude 14.57°, longitude 175.48° E meters.".
I think this should be "at latitude 14.57° S, longitude 175.48° E "
1. Add 'S' to the first coordinate (it is given in the reference as -14.57° (note minus sign), which I presume means south
2. Remove 'meters', this has no meaning in a latitude and longitude measurement (on the reference page the position is given as latitude and longditude and the _error_ in meters)
Watts per day?
Something is not right in the part where it state the power produced is 700 watts per day. Power is the measument of energy transfer per unit time (1 watt = 1 joule per second) and saying 700 watts per day implies a the power output changes by 700W per day, every day. The power output should be measured in watts alone, or the total energy produced per day could be measured in watt-hours. 700W sounds like a lot for a small solar panel like that to produce, especially on Mars, so maybe it should read watt-hours. Inductiveload 02:24, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
- Watt hours is the unit usually used by the rover team. 700wh may be what the arrays are rated for though I haven't heard of them producing more than about 650 in actual martian conditions. At the moment, however, the ongoing dust storm has limited output to much less--under 200wh at the lowest. Eluchil404 20:07, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
It's probably obvious for many of you, but why are Spirit and Opportunity devoid of any dust cleaning tool? I understand space is scarce, but such a tool is not that big. Dpotop 11:48, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
As you say, space was scarce. Apparently, a cleaning tool would have come at the cost of one of the scientific implements, and NASA decided to keep that implement instead increasing the rovers' longevity. To tell you the truth, it doesn't really make that much sense to me either. People have been bugging NASA about it ever since. : P Vsst 09:06, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
- "Not that big" is a relative term. Basically what happened was, the engineers knew there would be a dust problem, but decided the cheapest and most efficient solution was just to make the solar panels bigger, so they'd continue to deliver enough power for the planned length of the mission (which was only 90 days, remember). Any other dust-removal system they could have added in time for the launch window would be impractical. A brush or wiper-blade would not work, because Mars dust is approximately the same fineness as particles of tobacco smoke and the adhesion is too strong for it to be just brushed away. A blower system might work, but that would mean the rover would have to carry around a tank of pressurized gas (the Martian atmosphere is only about 1% as dense as Earth's) which would add extra weight, take up space, and have too many moving parts, plus a tank of pressurized gas might or might not survive the landing (remember that the rovers didn't soft-land, they were coccooned in air-bags and dropped.) In any case, if they had included a gas-blower, it would have run out of gas years ago, and the rover would be in exactly the same case it's in now, except it would also have to lug around an empty gas tank. Remember, the mission was only expected (and funded!) to last 90 days. Their approach worked perfectly; it's only a problem now because the Rovers have lasted over twenty times longer than expected.
- The next lander, the Mars Science Labratory, will have piezoelectric cells in its solar panels, so JPL can run a charge through the panels to repel the dust. They thought about doing this for the rovers, but didn't have the budget or the time. Fumblebruschi (talk) 20:39, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
- I don't know what you have been reading but I don't think solar panels were ever seriously proposed for the Mars Science Laboratory, let alone ones with piezoelectric cells. Instead they went with radioisotope thermoelectric generators and I can't find any mention of them using anything else. Thorenn (talk) 21:05, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
- But it doesn't matter since many times in both rovers' lifetimes have the panels been swept clean by winds or dust devils. -- Riffsyphon1024 (talk) 20:03, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't this be a current "rover mission" rather than a spaceflight?
The template at the top lists "space flight". Nothing is flying...CompuHacker 19:58, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
- Excellent question! Wikipedia currently doesn't distinguish between space missions in this way. Maybe it should! I'm curious, though: how would a probe that is in stationary contact with an asteroid be counted? How about a spacecraft that is docked to a space station? (sdsds - talk) 20:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Erm, anything that is attached directly to an object by gravity (large enough not the require clamps or ropes) would be considered a rover or something on the ground? Anything that has to be attached with ropes or clamps to prevent it from flying off is in flight.CompuHacker 00:23, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
- The idea of differentiating vehicles being held "down" on a surface by the gravity of the astronomical body is logical enough. It would be simple to change the template to allow providing any text (as an optional parameter) to over-ride the word "spaceflight". Maybe you could propose this idea at Template talk:Current spaceflight? (sdsds - talk) 07:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I think the template is referring to the way the rover got to Mars not how the rover goes about Mars. It is irrelevant what the payload of a space-bound vehicle does after it is launched into space; the fact that it required a flight by a rocket is enough to justify the template. Thorenn (talk) 21:13, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Use of 'yards' may indicate meters in source data
The use of 'yards' may indicate meters in source data. A journey described in the article as '400 yards' to a crater that is '150 yards' across, was probably originally reported by scientists as 400 meters and 150 meters. I assume that modern NASA source data is metric by default. My impression is that now it is only the media (including NASA's own press officers) that persist in making it hard to work out whether source data is metric or non-metric.
This issue happens in multiple space articles. But there are multiple Wikiprojects for space articles. Does anybody have a suggestion as to which Wikiproject is the most likely to address this issue? Lightmouse (talk) 14:23, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
- While scientists generally work in meters, NASA press releases are often in yards. We should probably report whatever our cited sources do. One could also convert, but with round numbers conversions give weird results. Eluchil404 (talk) 22:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
- Indeed. The NASA press office makes things difficult. I cannot find any source for the 'yard' values given. There are respectable sources with meter values. I think the converted yard values should be replaced with original metric values but I do not know that much about the subject. Lightmouse (talk) 11:16, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Please correct any mistakes with this template.
Objectives & Scientific instruments
As a visitor with no knowledge of (but a sudden curiosity in) this mission, I've found it next to impossible to discover 1) where the rover is now 2) what it has done recently. I assume via vandalism, the years 2006 and 2008 seem to be used interchangeable (see Low Ridge Haven, Home Plate, etc). Could someone who follows this patrol the dates, assign earth dates to each Sol date (as is done in some places but not others), and give some idea of what the timeline is/has been, perhaps in a section lead? I know it's annoying to have strangers come and tell you what to do, but this is an article which is both very high profile and which follows events that on a day-to-day basis are quite obscure to us non-experts. As it stands I come away from this more confused than enlightened. T L Miles (talk) 05:10, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
- There really isn't much 2008 info in the article, unfortunately. (Your Home Plate ref was the date a processed photo was published by NASA and your Low Ridge Haven ref appears to be just an updated odometer reading which is now not related to that paragraph.) The best day-to-day overview of the rover seems to be the Spirit Traverse Map image. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 00:31, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
What are "dust clearing events"
"Spirit was stuck in soft soil on Mars, one of the mission's embedding events."
For the second time in the past 24 hours, I have removed a reference to the recent xkcd comic: . I think this is a very minor reference in the popular media which doesn't seem to need mention in the article. Any other thoughts, disagreements? --TeaDrinker (talk) 22:06, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
- I completely agree with you. Adding a reference to this comic doesn't improve this article. I don't see why exactly this comic should be notable here.--Narayan (talk) 19:25, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
- The reference should stay! It's not that minor seeing as xkcd is an integral part of physics geek popular culture, bet there's an xkcd comic pinned up somewhere in that Jet Propulsion Lab. anyway it's got to rate at least as highly as a Daily Mail article link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 21:56, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
- If the article on cat does not mention Garfield, one of the most famous comics of all time and one in which the protagonist is a cat, I don't think it's at all relevant that this rover was mentioned once in what may be a relatively successful internet comic that is on the whole insignificant to the greater population. And no, I don't think Garfield should be mentioned in Cat, either. Whether or not xkcd is "an integral part of physics geek popular culture," this article is tailored not for those folks but instead for the average person looking to find some information on a Mars rover, not passing mentions of it in obscure popular culture.126.96.36.199 (talk) 20:09, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
- While I know this question is from an anon ip and is over 3 years old, I gotta ask. What are you talking about here?--RadioFan (talk) 03:31, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Spirit not stuck after all?
I just happened upon this article , that indicates that, if Spirit survives the winter, NASA might undertake more efforts to get the little rover to move again. I thought this might warrant a mention in the article, if somone wants to include it. Jedikaiti (talk) 22:48, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Not end of mission
The article, in both the lead and the last entry for 2010, do not make it clear whether the current state is considered an end-of-mission. I understand it is not, but something should be added to make this clear. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
Conversion of units
elapsed time in intro
It is noted in the intro that when the rover became stuck, it had operated 21.6x its planned mission duration. For the introduction I should think that should be sufficient, such that noting that contact efforts continued until 24.6x mission duration and mission was not declared terminated until 25.2x mission duration is excessive detail. I would think it would be too much to declare mission duration for a large number of things the rover did when it was operating and communicating, never mind when it was not. It was fully functional for more than 20x planned duration. Good for Spirit. Trumpeting that fact ONCE is surely enough for a neutral presentation of the subject.--Brian Dell (talk) 00:09, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
- The purpose of the lede is to summarise the article. Introduction of excessive detail, such as that which you correctly removed, is not appropriate. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:12, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Move discussion in progress
There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Curiosity rover which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 03:47, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
is/was a rover
There have been some edits back and forth of the opening sentence and I'd like to get some concensus from other editors. Which of the two is clearer and best describes the subject?
- Spirit, MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover – A), was a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010.
- Spirit, MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover – A), is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010.
Personally I find is to be the better choice. Though the contact was lost with the rover and it is no longer active. It still is a rover. was a robotic rover on Mars could easily be interpreted as indicating that the rover is no longer on Mars. What do others think?--RadioFan (talk) 16:25, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
- Either that or that the robot somehow no longer exists. Favor is. Corvus coronoides talk 03:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
- Restructuring finished. I hope the article is now a little clearer. --MoreInput (talk) 23:05, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
- MoreInput - yout new article structure for Spirit and Opportunity is really terrible! Why did you split all years into halves? Why did you introduce those long chapter titles - they are realy bad readable in the top contents table. Why did you delete many of pictures ???? Please, revert someone the article to the state as it was on 9.November 2013 !!!! Mmichalsk (talk) 17:10, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
- http://www.universetoday.com/2010/03/03/spirit-hunkered-down-for-winter-stuck-forever-maybe-not/. Unknown parameter
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