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Mars NASA Robotics Space Science

Could the Tumbleweed Rover Dominate Mars? 105

Posted by timothy
from the now-the-old-tumbleweeds-look-suspicious-too dept.
astroengine writes "Mars has been visited by orbiters, landers and rovers, but could the future of Martian exploration be inspired by a wind-blown sphere? NASA and other research institutions have been developing the Mars Tumbleweed rover for the last decade, but with the help of the Planetary Science Institute, the Tumbleweed is now vying for some serious funding to further develop the technologies required. Although the Tumbleweed would be wholly dependent on the prevailing winds on the Martian surface, the lightweight and relatively cheap design could lead the way for a 'swarm' of independent Tumbleweeds to explore vast regions of the planet (video link). In 2003 and 2004, NASA even tested an inflatable Tumbleweed prototype on Greenland and Antarctica — it traversed hundreds of miles with ease, continually relaying location and environmental data."
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Could the Tumbleweed Rover Dominate Mars?

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  • How appropriate... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bistromath007 (1253428) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @05:06AM (#31379580)
    "Tumbleweed" is a perfect description of what will be left of the space program after the current administration is done with it!
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@[ ] ['sla' in gap]> on Saturday March 06, 2010 @06:05AM (#31379744)

    ...then why not add some solar cells and a motor, so it can actually move to where it wants.

    It will clean the cells, by tumbling and turning half of them upside-down.

    But I don’t know if the wind on Mars is really strong enough for all of this...

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @06:14AM (#31379760) Journal

    That is fitting, so the space program will match the economy the republicans left the current administration.

  • Re:Mod Parent Up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OrwellianLurker (1739950) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @06:25AM (#31379790)
    People who oppose Democrats != Republicans

    People who oppose Republicans != Democrats

  • Re:Mod Parent Up! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OrwellianLurker (1739950) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @06:43AM (#31379842)

    Too true.. but people who believe everything they read, don't actually seek out other opinions and form their own decision, preferably by reading primary sources (like the actual budget documents!!) are typical. :)

    FTFY. Ignorance is bipartisan.

  • Re:Mod Parent Up! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @09:59AM (#31380388)

    ... but people who believe everything they read, don't actually seek out other opinions ... typically are republicans. :)

    As the poster before me stated, ignorance is bipartisan. Neither party has a lock on the type of behavior you describe. Let me "prove" it by countering your opinion with some personal experience which, while hardly statistically relevant, is at least as credible as your stereotypical declaration. As it happens, I almost always vote for the conservative candidate, so even though I am registered unenrolled most would consider me a Republican. Anyhow, I have been staying on top of the health care reform bill by actually downloading and reading each of the bills. And through the course of this national debate, I have participated in many hallway discussions with my liberal colleagues who reflexively spout party line ignorance. None of them have ever made an attempt to find out what the actual bill says, or what "the other side" is saying. They dismissively disparage all who are opposed as right-wing nutjobs, Limbaugh tools, Faux (so cute) News watchers, etc. Then in the next breath they say how they only listen to NPR because that is the only balanced new source. [Yes, they say this with a straight face; I know, hard to believe such ignorance exists but there you have it]. Anyhow, I listen to NPR *and* talk radio. I read web sites that affiliate with each side. Back when I subscribed to print news I got two newspapers: one liberal-leaning and one conservative-leaning. I know from all of this that both sides pick-and-choose their "facts" and statistics to buttress their claims. With all of that said, it begs the question: Have you actually, personally, tried to "seek out other opinions" to make up your mind, or are you just another On-bot (yeah, both sides have their cute nicknames) who has their short list of like-minded media/information sources?

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @10:24AM (#31380522)

    > That is fitting, so the space program will match the economy the republicans left the current administration.

    Dear SmallFurryCreature (593017),

    The economy is not the fault of any given administration. The most recent economic crisis was due primarily to the actions of a few people in the NY financial district, and to the failure of the many to realize how broad the consequences would be when that group inevitably failed. It was slightly exacerbated by widely-performed mortgage fraud, but it was really a question of a few guys on wall street who decided to start trading credit-default swaps and the like irresponsibly.

    Everyone blames the economy on the administration in power, to the extent where any major event on the market is very likely to determine the outcome of a Presidential Election. This is an irrational reaction on the part of the people, but it occurs anyway. The people in government with the most power for this kind of thing are actually the senators and representatives, but they rarely regulate the banking segment of the economy since it gives them money. Most of a senator's day is raising money. If he has two minutes between events, he's on the phone with donors. If he's sitting in the back of his car as someone drives him to work, he's on the phone with donors. Numerous donors are in finance. Therefore it takes something extraordinary for the government to even consider regulating finance.



  • by jo42 (227475) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @11:33AM (#31380932) Homepage

    Dear HighlyEducatedIdiot,

    The actions "of a few people in the NY financial district" can be traced directly to the deregulation of their industry by a previous administration.


  • Well, the USA was loosing 200k-300k jobs per month when Obama took office and in just over a year he reduced it tenfold. He is no Jesus you know.

  • by joggle (594025) on Saturday March 06, 2010 @04:45PM (#31383284) Homepage Journal

    Actually, you have it backwards. The programs that were cut would have taken virtually all of NASA's budget, making other exploration programs like this nearly impossible to fund.

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.