Odd Things Encountered On Mars' Surface

blessmycottonsocks

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Back on 29th January 2016, Curiosity was traversing some sand dunes and took what, at first glance, looks like an unremarkable photo:

mars1.JPG


One eagle-eyed observer zoomed in on the small object at the lower left which, in comparison with the tread pattern on Curiosity's wheel (just visible at lower right) looks to be around 10cm long:

mars2.JPG


Now, to me, that resembles a dowel screw - which would suggest that Curiosity was falling to bits.
Some though, reckon it's the exoskeleton of a Martian millipede or some sort of segmented worm.
Which do you think is the more likely?

rod.JPG
mill.JPG
 

Trevp666

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I think you'll find that by 2016 Curiosity had been on Mars for 4 years, trundling around for most of the time.
NASA had already reported problems with wheel damage as far back as 2014 (link to report) and had a team of people specialising on 'wheel wear' ongoing.
Also, the wheels are mounted onto Curiosity via a complicated multi-link suspension system with many moving parts, springs, wiring and other architecture, which was all hand built, and had to survive the initial launch, the journey through space, the descent and landing on its own wheels and then years of constant use in a harsh terrain.
It wouldn't surprise me if a bit dropped off.
By this year the NASA reports are showing considerable damage, even with talk of 'ripping off it's own defective wheels' (2021 report)
 

Trevp666

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I've just spotted an amusing 'typo' in the 2021 NASA report.
The wheels have a tread pattern consisting of little plates that stand proud of the surface termed 'Grousers'. The report contains the following statement about what their limit would be for breakages.
"...But until that milestone of 14 broken trousers is reached..."
 

CharmerKamelion

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Mars is the only planet as far as we know to be inhabited entirely by robots.

you're forgetting about the Russian Venera probes and landers sent to Venus


Interesting points. 'As far as we know' yes. We can't be 100% certain that there aren't some other non-robotic 'inhabitants' on either Mars or Venus. Might not be 'life as we know it, Jim' but there could be some living things on one or the other planet, or both. Unless someone knows for sure to the contrary. And if they do, I will be intrigued to know how.
 

Trevp666

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Hence the present tense.
Oh, you mean because the ones on Venus have been turned into stuff now - stuff that is no longer viable as either probes or landers?
Okay fair point then.
But also, we have no proof that the probes and landers have ceased to exist, only an assumption based on what we know of their composition and the destructive nature of the atmosphere.
And Venusian robots might have dragged the last of the Venera landers underground!
 

charliebrown

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Buzz Aldrin besides saying there is pure evil in the Antarctic, also said we must go to Mars to find our answers.

Hmmm—
 

charliebrown

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Buzz Aldrin claimed that if the earth becomes uninhabitable, where are we going to go ?

The only option is to settle Mars.
 

ChasFink

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I just saw a clip of Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing a variety of things, and he made a good point: if we get to the point where we could use technology to turn Mars into a new Earth, why not just use the same technology to turn Earth back into Earth?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Here's a couple of interesting objects on Mars' surface, but spotted by the Mars Global Surveyor.

The first in in the Ceti Mensa region and appears to be a disk-shaped object, that has skidded to a halt, embedding itself in the sand, gouging a trench behind it, into which sand has fallen and dunes formed. The disk is estimated to be 12 to 15 metres diameter.
The entire video is worth watching for a detailed analysis:

disk.JPG


The next is of three perfectly aligned objects, resembling conical towers, in the Terra Meridiani region.
They are estimated as being 240 metres apart and several hundred metres tall.
The video is in Spanish, with close-ups and analysis starting around the 3 minute mark. He also describes other apparently anomalous objects in the vicinity:

towers.JPG


 
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