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  Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity
spaceuk
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posted 09-07-2004 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spirit's Sol 241 pancam images have some stunning views.

spaceuk
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posted 09-07-2004 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There will be no images or data for around 11 days in a few days time since the Sun will be in the way.

As its 'our master' and its a bit B-I-G I think we have to let it get on with it.

tegwilym
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posted 09-08-2004 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceuk:
There will be no images or data for around 11 days in a few days time since the Sun will be in the way.
I sure hope the rovers wake up again when the get around the other side!

Philip
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posted 09-09-2004 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Insanely successful those MERs...

spaceuk
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posted 09-10-2004 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I understand that a few experiments will be conducted during this tyime while MER's out of contact.

A passive experiment is to see if any soil disturbance takes place during this period.

spaceuk
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posted 09-22-2004 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both MER's are operating and transmitting again after the solar conjunction.

NASA's extended contract for another 6 months too provided both keep working - which both have done admirably so far even now way way past design lifetime.

Great stuff!

BLACKARROW
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posted 09-22-2004 08:22 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If they keep going, maybe one of them will be able to photograph the first manned landing on Mars...

Well, you can dream!

tegwilym
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posted 09-27-2004 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought this was a really cool photo that I found today: Mars rover tracks seen from orbit

Now if we just had something like this in orbit around the moon, we could finally put an end to that Moon landing hoax.

Tom

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posted 09-27-2004 07:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If they can fake a moon landing, they can fake a photo of rover tracks.

The moon hoax nuts believe in the hoax not because it's true, but because it is not true -- and nothing will shake them from it.

Scott
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posted 09-27-2004 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is amazing, Tom. Thanks for that link.

Philip
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posted 09-28-2004 01:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The photo clearly shows the backshell and parachute, impact zones, the lander and wheel tracks left by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit... if you look closely even the rover itself... great machine that Mars Global Surveyor orbiter!

Philip
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posted 10-15-2004 01:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
JPL-engineers are optimistic about the MERs conditions, which have just been given a new lease on life for them, a six-month extended mission that began Oct. 1. The solar power situation is better than expected, but these machines are already well past their design life...

Philip
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posted 10-01-2004 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That a great idea BlackArrow, reminding us of the A12 landing near the Surveyor III landing-probe...

Let's hope to see a Manned Mars-mission before the year 2030... I'm sure there'll be humans on the Red planet before the end of the century, hopefully before the year 2084 so they'll be able to witness their home planet Earth going in transit across the face of the Sun!

Rick Boos
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posted 10-02-2004 08:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is NASA at it's BEST!!!! It's so easy to come down on them for other things and they deserve it most of the time, but when they do it right they need and deserve a pat on the back! The little rovers are really something elce, as as been most of our unmanned probes! Problem is that CNN, Fox, and the news media doesn't cover it like they should so people can see that we are REALLY getting our money's worth!. A REAL shame. Proud of you NASA!!!!

Philip
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posted 10-07-2004 01:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Opportunity had a problem with its Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) while Spirit encountered steering problems.

Philip
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posted 10-08-2004 01:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the latest 360-degree panoramic photos is JPL photo-ID PIA06917... a stunning view from the Columbia Hills by the rover Spirit ...a stunning view!

spaceuk
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posted 10-25-2004 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good luck to the MER Opportunity rover team as they begin approaching 'Burns Cliff' and then try exit Endurance crater for the plains in next few days. This will be a severe test for the rover - which has performed so excellently over past few months.

spaceuk
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posted 12-03-2004 04:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a NASA News Release:
Eleven reports by 122 authors in Friday's [3/12/04] issue of the journal Science present results from Opportunity's three- month prime mission, fleshing out headline discoveries revealed earlier.

Opportunity bounced to an airbag-cushioned landing on Jan. 24. It is exploring a region called Meridiani Planum, halfway around Mars from where its twin, Spirit, landed three weeks earlier. Sedimentary rocks Opportunity examined, "clearly preserve a record of environmental conditions different from any on Mars today," report 50 rover-team scientists led by Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. and Dr. Ray Arvidson of Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

"Liquid water was once intermittently present at the Martian surface at Meridiani, and at times it saturated the subsurface. Because liquid water is a key prerequisite for life, we infer conditions at Meridiani may have been habitable for some period of time in Martian history," according to Squyres, Arvidson and other co-authors.

spaceuk
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posted 12-03-2004 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some of the more interesting items of information on Mars - from the MER Opportunity team researchers abstracts released in today's Science journal - are given below.

Some of this information we have been seeing in the data already published but it is nice to see the 'formal' presentation.

  • The geologic record at Meridiani Planum suggests that conditions were suitable for biological activity for a period of time in martian history.

  • The thickness of the soil on the plain is estimated to be about a meter. The flatness and thin cover suggest that the plain may represent the original sedimentary surface.

  • The soils consist of fine-grained basaltic sand and a surface lag of hematite-rich spherules, spherule fragments, and other granules.

  • Wind ripples are common.

  • Underlying the thin soil layer, and exposed within small impact craters and troughs, are flat-lying sedimentary rocks. These rocks are finely laminated, are rich in sulfur, and contain abundant sulfate salts. Small-scale cross-lamination in some locations provides evidence for deposition in flowing liquid water.

  • We interpret the rocks to be a mixture of chemical and siliciclastic sediments formed by episodic inundation by shallow surface water, followed by evaporation, exposure, and desiccation.

  • Hematite-rich spherules are embedded in the rock and eroding from them. We interpret these spherules to be concretions formed by postdepositional diagenesis, again involving liquid water.

  • The uppermost millimeter of some soils is weakly cemented, whereas other soils show little evidence of cohesion. Rock outcrops are laminated on a millimeter scale; image mosaics of cross-stratification suggest that some sediments were deposited by flowing water. Vugs in some outcrop faces are probably molds formed by dissolution of relatively soluble minerals during diagenesis.

  • Hematite is concentrated in spherules eroded from the strata. Ongoing saltation exhumes the spherules and their fragments, concentrating them at the surface

  • The dust's cross section weighted mean radius was 1.47 - 0.21 micrometers (mm) at Gusev and 1.52 - 0.18 mm at Meridiani.

  • Upward-looking Mini-TES observations show warm and cool parcels of air moving through the Mini-TES field of view on a time scale of 30 seconds.

  • Solar cell output decreased because of the deposition of airborne dust on the panels.

  • Chemical compositions differentiate between basaltic rocks, evaporite-rich rocks, basaltic soils, and hematite-rich soils.

  • Rocky outcrops are rich in sulfur and variably enriched in bromine relative to chlorine.

  • The interaction with water in the past is indicated by the chemical features in rocks and soils at this site.

  • Coarse crystalline hematite and olivine-rich basaltic sands were observed . Outcrops of aqueous origin are composed of 15 to 35% by volume magnesium and calcium sulfates and hematite; only minor jarosite is identified in Mini-TES spectra.

  • Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine.

  • Bounce rock is dominated by clinopyroxene and is close in inferred mineral composition to the basaltic martian meteorites.

spaceuk
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posted 12-05-2004 06:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The images from Spirit for Sols 296/297 showing its tracks leading up the side of the Columbia Hills are superb as far as I am concerned!

Every time I view them I want to trace them back as far as I can. Better still I would love to walk beside them!

You might only have "three wheels on your wagon" (actually just a few more!) but
"Keep on truckin' Spirit!"

There's one armchair planetary geologist here who almost 'hangs' on every image.

Phill
UK

Scott
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posted 12-05-2004 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are remarkable, aren't they?

Are you referring to this photo?

Or maybe a different one? I went to the Spirit 296 and 297 raw image sites but you may have been looking at a photo elsewhere.

Please post a link to the tracks image you saw when you get a chance.

Scott

Scott
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posted 12-05-2004 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, I just came across this unbelievable image (be patient - it is over 50 MB in size!!).

But it is color and so detailed that you can even see the fuzziness of the edges of Gusev Crater caused by the Martian atmosphere!

It is my favorite Martian Rover image so far.

Philip
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posted 12-07-2004 01:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spirit Sol 313 panorama is quiet nice as well, it shows the rover driving backwards and You see the wheel-tracks in the Martian soil, notice the right-hand track is wider and deeper due to Spirit's balky right front wheel which drags behind the rover as it drives backwards!

Hey, those MERs almost lasted a year now!!!

spaceuk
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posted 12-07-2004 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
Are you referring to this photo?
Yes that is one of the images but there were several others as well with the tracks showing. The kinks are due to wheel dragging.

I didn't post links since there are several images showing - so I just posted the sol days to look at under the raw images site.

Those others mentioned by yourself and Philip are also great ones.

I think it IS because of the horizon views and the hilly terrain that make these interesting.

Phill

Blackarrow
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posted 12-07-2004 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why have there been no new images from the Opportunity Mars rover for at least the last 10 days? I have checked every day, and have seen no sign of life since the weekend before last. What's the problem?

spaceuk
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posted 12-08-2004 07:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are dozens of new images on site currently.

They are still taking images of the walls of crater Endurance and doing science stops.

A quickie 'escape route' that was spotted as it backs out of the crater was abandoned - due to the slope.

It's probably more the web masters loading up the images to site and possible tracking station schedules that delay images appearing sometimes?

I would imagine that the NASA tracking sites
capable of receiving signals from MER, the Mars orbiters, Cassini, Huygens, Messenger and all the other probes out there are probably working flat out.

spaceuk
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posted 12-08-2004 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This was on JPL site:
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 07, 2004

Opportunity has completed its super-high-resolution imaging and other remote sensing operations from the base of "Burns Cliff," collecting more than 985 megabits of telemetry. Due to the large number of observations, the data management team has been working hard to manage available memory. Opportunity has now begun its journey out of "Endurance Crater."

While in the crater, Opportunity has experienced drive slippage of up to 100 percent and tilts as high as 31.05 degrees.

The rover was pushed to its traverse limits, but continued to perform all that was asked of it. Opportunity remains in excellent health. Solar power is nearly as high now as it was at the beginning of the mission.

Blackarrow
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posted 12-08-2004 09:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Phill. Glad to see "Opportunity" is still carrying out "The Great Escape." For the last 11 nights, the JPL Rover page has told me that images from Sol 298 have been downloaded. It has suddenly jumped to Sol 310, with images from the intervening days available. (By the way, I'm surprised the conspiracy nuts haven't been pointing out that those flat slabs of rock in Endurance crater look like they have been cemented in place by a careful landscape gardener!)

spaceuk
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posted 12-14-2004 06:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity climbed out of "Endurance Crater" during the rover's 315th sol (Dec. 12, 2004).

Some early images from 'on top' show the best images so far of the back shell which I understand they're going head for.

Some other Opportunity images released show tthe spectacular clouds over Endurance and frost forming on the 'sundial' device.

Excellent stuff!

Phill
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spaceuk
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posted 12-14-2004 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA JPL reports that a spectrum, taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Mössbauer spectrometer, shows the presence of an iron-bearing mineral called goethite in a rock called "Clovis" in the "Columbia Hills" of Mars. Goethite contains water in the form of hydroxyl as a part of its structure. By identifying this mineral, the examination of Clovis produced strong evidence for past water activity in the area that Spirit is exploring.

DavidH
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posted 12-14-2004 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Opportunity has sent back the first-ever photos of cirrus-like clouds taken from the surface of Mars, as well as an image of frost on its calibration sundial.

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"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

Philip
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posted 12-14-2004 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Talking about geology ...ever heard about the JPL Mars yard (it's an open air test area with different sizes of rocks) not to be confused with the indoors Mars sand box.

Philip
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posted 12-15-2004 04:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent mission indeed, I guess the success of the Mars Exploration Rover missions was due to the fact that everybody at JPL was doing his/her best to eat 'good luck peanuts' during the crucial stages of the MER missions.

In my opinion the most successful Mars mission ever!

DavidH
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posted 12-16-2004 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Associated Press:
The conclusive discovery by a pair of wheeled robots that Mars once had vast pools of water and possibly could have harbored life was chosen by the editors of the journal Science as the most important scientific achievement of 2004.
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Philip
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posted 12-23-2004 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Opportunity on the way to its heatshield!

Scott
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posted 12-23-2004 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is so cool. I can't wait until it reaches it. And the Huygen's probe event is coming up. There seems to be no end to the fascinating images from these missions.

nasamad
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posted 12-23-2004 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is cool, I'd love one of the future Rovers to find Beagle like this.

Adam

Scott
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posted 12-26-2004 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool new pic.

BLACKARROW
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posted 12-26-2004 08:51 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it's outrageous that NASA has dumped all this rubbish on Mars. The sooner they send a team of astronauts to Mars to clean it up the better!

John K. Rochester
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posted 12-27-2004 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll volunteer to go there with a Hefty Bag and sharp stick in hand..


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