Apr 15, 2009
Akin to the remainder of the major planets in our Solar System, Mars journeys across an elliptic orbit encircling the Sun therefore precisely determining how far away is mars from the sun is not an exact science. However, it has a nearest point to the Sun in its orbit in addition to a distant location. When an entity arrives at the nearest point in its orbit, astronomers title this as ‘perihelion’. Mars acquires an elliptical orbit encircling the sun so the distance from mars to the sun in fact alters substantially, the distance spans from roughly 128,000,000 to 154,000,000 miles. In addition the period of Mar’s rotation is around 686 days, practically double the rotation of the planet Earth.
Meanwhile, the group operating NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is inspecting data obtained from Spirit in recent days to study why the rover evidently rebooted its computer at least twice over the Apr 11-12 weekend. “While we don’t have an interpretation yet, we do understand that Spirit’s cells are charged, the solar arrays are manufacturing energy and temperatures are well within permissible scopes.
We have time to respond cautiously and explore this comprehensively,” said John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The rover is in a stable operations state called auto mode and taking care of itself. It may well stay in this well-balanced mode for some time if required while we determine the problem.”
Spirit reported with controllers Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but some of the transmission periods were inconsistent. One of the computer resets seemingly corresponded in regulating with operation of the rover’s high-gain dish transmitting aerial. The rover crew has the benefit of numerous transmission alternatives. Spirit can talk instantly with Earth by way of either the point able high-gain antenna or, at a reduced data rate, by way of a low-gain antenna which does not move. Moreover, connections can be transmitted by Mars orbiters, using the UHF transceiver, a unconnected radio system on the rover.