1badmf wrote on Feb 15, 2019, 04:13:
jdreyer wrote on Feb 15, 2019, 00:38:
1badmf wrote on Feb 14, 2019, 22:31:
Creston wrote on Feb 14, 2019, 21:25:
Good luck on your doggie, Blue!
Also, rest well, Opportunity. You were an absolute marvel of engineering. Here's hoping this will come true.
i've always wondered why they've never built wipers onto the solar panels instead of crossing fingers and waiting for a strong gust of wind. they can't be that heavy, and they probably don't use very much power either.
When you're flinging something across a million miles of space, every gram cut counts. Also, Opportunity was expected to last six months, not 15 years, so we got so much more out of it than we ever expected. Given that short time frame (6 mos), it probably didn't make sense to add wipers.
i mean, that's true to an extent, but also every launch platform is rated for a certain amount of weight to a specific orbit. i highly doubt added ten or so pounds would change that much if at all since the package is probably not THAT close to rated launch limits to begin with.
Just saying, but if you have a dust covered panel on Mars or Moon, using your window wiper to dry clean it is a REALLY bad idea. That dust isn't dust as you know it, it's tiny rocks with extreme sharp edges. You'd have to carefully blow it off, and that's not a simple machine to build. If you compressed local atmosphere and somehow used that to blow, you'd then have to filter the dust out of the air... now you get dirty filters every few days. Now you have to clean your filters.... so yeah. Rocket science.