has a Robot very been on Mars? Which one? What did it do?

Thanks :)

8 Answers

  • Bella
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes, three of them, Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix. Spirit and Opportunity were Rovers. They traveled around taking video and samples. Phoenix is not a Rover. It stays in place taking pictures and samples, and analyzing them.

    "Posted: June 2, 2008

    The robotic arm on NASA's Phoenix lander dug several inches into the Martian tundra this weekend, scraping up bits of soil with what looks like small clumps of embedded ice, mission scientists said Monday.

    Sunday's test dig was designed to prove the arm could burrow into the surface to retrieve soil samples for analysis by a suite of scientific instruments carried on the deck of the lander. The scoop of soil was later dumped back to the surface, completing the arm's checkout, scientists said in a press briefing Monday.

    "Today we can report our first interactions with the surface itself and pictures of the surface soils," said Peter Smith, Phoenix principal investigator from the University of Arizona.

    Scientists first used the arm to make an imprint on the surface to test the ground's ability to guide the 7.7-foot-long structure to specific points around the lander. The test formed a footprint-like marking in the dirt, inspiring managers to name the new landmark "Yeti."

    The arm was then ordered to dig a trench several inches deep to collect soil from the surface inside a small scoop.

    Phoenix downlinked several images showing unidentified white markings scattered within the rust-colored soil inside the arm's scoop. The white material is likely either ice or a salt similar to magnesium sulfate, officials said.

    "We're really carrying two ideas here," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, co-investigator for the Phoenix robotic arm.

    "One is that we're seeing that (magnesium sulfate) material is cementing the soil and making it a little bit cohesive, or that we have actually exposed the top of the ice table and that we had a little bit of ice in the scoop before we dumped," Arvidson said.

    Mission planners are narrowing down a list of candidate sites for the next series of digs. Arvidson said the science team wants to collect three samples from an area near the location of Sunday's dig to drop inside three instruments on Phoenix for detailed analysis.

    "What we want to do is get surface samples from contiguous areas so we're looking at the same materials with the three different instruments," Arvidson said.

    Scientists should select a site for the next dig overnight, and officials hope to send commands for the arm to scoop up another soil sample sometime Tuesday or Wednesday. That sample will be put inside the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, an instrument that includes eight tiny single-use high-temperature ovens and two sensors designed to determine the chemical make-up of the soil.

    Subsequent samples collected from the same region will be analyzed by the Microscopy, Electrochemistry and Conductivity Analyzer instrument's optical microscope and wet chemistry lab, an experiment that measures the characteristics of soil particles after water is added inside beakers.

    The sample put inside TEGA this week will spend at least four days going through a series of heating cycles inside one of the instrument's ovens, eventually reaching temperatures of about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The first two cycles are designed to remove water and other volatile gases from the sample, so scientists may know whether ice is present early in the heating process. The final cycle will reveal the sample's mineral structure in detail, Smith said.

    Phoenix spent Monday removing protective covers from the TEGA instrument and collecting high-resolution stereo images of a light-colored area directly underneath the lander named "Holy Cow." Scientists say "Holy Cow" looks like it could be a slab of ice revealed after a top layer of dust was blown away by the probe's descent thrusters during its May 25 landing.

    posted Jul 16th 2008

    "The Phoenix lander has already proven its mettle by finding ice on Mars, and now it's gone and shown off its quick-thinking skills by shutting down its robotic arm after receiving a command that could have permanently damaged it. The lander apparently did it's best to find a workaround first, however, but ultimately determined that any further movement would have bent its wrist out of shape. That left NASA engineers scrambling yesterday to come up with some new instructions to send to the lander, and they're now simply waiting to see if they meet with the robot's approval"

    NASA programmers had to send new code to bring the arm back to life, and are now augmenting the original code to try and get the task done. Seemingly pleased with the Phoenix's refusal to conform to The Man's rules, NASA representatives described the process as "pretty neat."

    Source(s): spaceflightnow.com/mars/phoenix/080602update.html www.engadget.com/2008/07/16/mars-phoenix-lander-saves-itself-with-some-quick-thinking/ gizmodo.com/5025887/mars-phoenix-lander-protects-itself-from-bad-nasa-commands
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Viking, Phoenix, Mars Pathfinder


  • 1 decade ago

    All the landers we've put on Mars so far (the rovers, Viking, Phoenix, etc.) are robots in that they can carry out some independent actions without direct human intervention. However they can't do much without direction from Earth. Even the rovers don't do much on their own. Every direction they travel in is heavily scrutinized and planned out by people before they move an inch.

    The Opportunity rover, BTW, has traveled a total so far of 7.28 miles. Spirit has gone 4.7 miles.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Oh, Yes, most assuradly. Lets see there was Pathfinder, and then the Rovers, Spirit & Opportunity, and now Phoenix. Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix are still there, even as we speak.

    Oh they travel around, look, take beautiful pictures, oh, and, yes, they even do experiments. After all, why go there if nothing is gonna' happen, because the cost of sending anything to Mars is astronomical--- Yep, that's a pun!

    Oh yes, I forget, it's all in the "spirit" of exploration! That, by the way, is exactly why one of them is called "Spirit"!

    Source(s): http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/, and Universe History.com
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  • eri
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    We've sent at least 4. Look up the Mars Rover, Spirit & Opportunity, and Phoenix.

  • Brant
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Spirit, Opportunity, and Phoenix are all robots. Mostly they take pictures and analyze the atmosphere and soil.

    Other previous landers would also be considered robots. I don't think Viking would fairly be called a robot. It was run mostly by remote control.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There has never been a robot on Mars. There are currently some remotely controlled machines on Mars, but they are not robots. Robots act independent of instructions sent from an external source. If NASA was not sending instructions to the Rovers they would do absolutely nothing. They are not robots.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Looks like your are not up to date. Go to www.nasa.gov

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