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#351 2006-09-27 09:03:35

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Oh, man, you're getting current images before the official website releases them.

I am so jealous!   :twisted:


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#352 2006-09-27 09:15:09

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

check out the excellent Midnight Mars Browser, it uses exploratorium's site, which posts them often hours before JPL does... you get the stuff on your computer near real time  8) and it auto-stitches stuff, you can pan and zoom etc etc...



http://midnightmarsbrowser.blogspot.com/



(gigabytes of stuff to be downloaded once you get into it, be warned....)


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#353 2006-09-29 02:43:08

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Comprehensive update about the activities of both rovers, a well written article by A.J.S. Rayl, September 29, 2006:

In fact, things are going so well with the rovers that the MER team won approval this month for an additional year of funded exploration, a decision NASA made based on recommendations from an outside panel of scientists.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#354 2006-09-29 11:57:30

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Interesting.  From satellite images, I had expected Victoria to have a ring of higher albedo material around it, but these images show that the crater ring has a relatively complex structure, actually consisting of two or more concentric rings/arcs extending around at least a quarter of the crater rim.

Why the concentric structure?

Hmm....


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#355 2006-09-29 16:19:17

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

I just... I still cannot believe these rovers are still going. I know that they built them with durablity in mind, but my god.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#356 2006-10-06 07:22:02

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Tune in NASA TV today at 15:00 UT (11:00 EDT) for NASA's Mars Rover News Briefing -  update on Opportunity's arrival at Victoria crater and surprise imagery from MRO.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#357 2006-10-06 10:11:35

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

160167main_mro-20061006-330-1.jpg
Opportunity sitting on the edge of Victoria crater, as seen by MRO

An excellent briefing today on NASA TV by Steve Sqyures and Jim Bell of the MER team as well as Alfred McEwen, PI of the MRO HiRISE camera. More details here


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#358 2006-10-07 10:23:01

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Normally wouldn't do a double post, but this is amazing (and on-topic to both threads): http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA08813.jpg

Simply breathtaking. We're *there*! That's *us*! Our little machine... man...


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#359 2006-10-12 06:58:06

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

I read somewhere (cannot recall source) that mission controllers might be planning to drive Oppy around (partially at least) VC?


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#360 2006-10-14 08:29:37

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#361 2006-10-30 10:25:31

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Yet another well written status update by Rayl: New Milestones Set as Spirit Celebrates 1000 Sols

1000 sols !!


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#362 2006-11-08 12:30:05

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

I wonder what caused this surface texture in Victoria Crater?  The area of thick soil seen in this filtered image has pits and ruts.  It's hardly your typical barchons.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#363 2006-11-13 12:27:52

DEChengst
Member
From: NLA0:
Registered: 2006-11-13
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Hi,

Just a quick preview of a mosaic I'm working on. There are still missing some frames to make it full color, so I hope to have them this weekend the latest. This one is from Duck Bay and the second mosaic from Cape Verde should be ready soon too:

http://paranoid.dechengst.nl/mars/Victo … %20bay.jpg (6.9MB)


PDP, VAX and Alpha fanatic ; HP-Compaq is the Satan! ; Let us pray daily while facing Maynard! ; Life starts at 150 km/h ;

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#364 2006-11-13 12:56:33

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Hi,

Just a quick preview of a mosaic I'm working on. There are still missing some frames to make it full color, so I hope to have them this weekend the latest. This one is from Duck Bay and the second mosaic from Cape Verde should be ready soon too:

http://paranoid.dechengst.nl/mars/Victo … %20bay.jpg (6.9MB)

Nice!  It's breathtaking in high resolution.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#365 2006-11-13 13:08:49

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Impressive first post DEChengst.

Nice to see somebody from unmannedspaceflight.com posting here smile


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#366 2006-11-15 21:49:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

The Opportunity rover captured this stereo image of Mars' Victoria Crater on Oct. 5.; Viewing the image through red-blue glasses produces a 3-D effect.

To mark the Opportunity rover’s 1,000th Martian day of operation, NASA has released a panorama of the crater that the robot is currently exploring and you’ve got to see this 8-meg bad boy in 3-D. So dig out the red-blue glasses and take a virtual field trip to Mars.

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#367 2006-12-02 01:02:06

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Spirit Moves to New Targets, Opportunity "Sails On" Around Victoria's Rim

Once again Rayl summarizes the adventures of Opportunity and Spirit.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#368 2006-12-29 13:10:52

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

On The Roll To New Targets update 28 December 2006

Opportunity:

What rover scientists may learn when Opportunity steers down inside the crater is anybody’s guess. But first finding a driveway into Victoria is high on the priority list.

“So far we have found two safe entry routes into Victoria. Those are Duck Bay and Bottomless Bay. We have not yet confirmed that either is a safe exit route, but they both have potential,” Squyres advised.

Opportunity is continuing with its scenic tour of the rim of Victoria Crater, said William Farrand, a research scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He is also a member of the MER science team.

“We have been getting some spectacular panoramas of the promontories and inner rim of Victoria. We are also in the process of building up images for a fabulous stereo model of the crater,” Farrand told SPACE.com.

Spirit:

Squyres said that Spirit is likely to stay in the vicinity of Home Plate for a long time.

From overhead, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has used its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera to sharp-shoot the site that Spirit is now appraising.

“The recent HiRISE image of the Spirit site has shown us that there are many more scientifically interesting targets around Home Plate than we realized. Some of these features are difficult to spot from ground level,” Squyres pointed out.

The powerful HiRISE camera has found things that Mars rover scientists hadn’t realized were there before. “So, having found our way with much difficulty to such a target-rich environment, we’re going to work it for all it’s worth.”


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#369 2007-01-04 03:55:07

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Happy birthday Spirit!


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#370 2007-01-06 06:12:29

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Spirit Rests During Dust Storm

Pasadena CA (SPX) Jan 04, 2007

A sudden dust storm cut short Spirit's investigation of a volcanic rock and kicked enough dust into the Martian atmosphere to drive solar power levels to an all-time low. Spirit's team of scientists and engineers decided to move the rover to a spot where the solar panels would be tilted toward the sun to increase the amount of electrical power available.

--from spacedaily.com

Also:

Terrific photo

Again with ripples in a crater's bottom which look like water waves. 

MER team making plans for 4th year.  Amazing.  big_smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#371 2007-01-10 22:08:14

EuroLauncher
Member
From: Europe
Registered: 2005-10-19
Posts: 299

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

love the pictures, what an amazing mission this has been

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#372 2007-01-11 06:31:00

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

update from MEPAG meeting 9 January 2007 (NASA Watch blog)

Steve Squyres - Mars Rover Update

Rovers have survived their third terrestrial year - and their second Mars winter. All non-mechanical subsystems functioning normally. Less 57Co in the Mossbauer Spectrometers. This means ~80 hour integration times instead of previous 5 hour integration times.

Spirit's right front wheel does not turn. We now do 5-wheel driving. When we drive backwards up a hill, that broken wheel drags. As such, our mountaineering days are over - no more hill climbing for Spirit. Grind heads for RAT are worn down - but still can brush rocks.

Opportunity - right front steering actuator not operating. Recent development - RAT encode that tells software whether heads are turning starting to send back bad data. Grind motor is working fine. Need to make adjustment to grinding algorithm to fix this. All science sysems are fully functional.

Needed to park Spirit at a safe location - therefore had to move through Home Plate fast. Parked rover at Low Ridge - able to get enough power to survive winter. Going back to Home Plate. We do not know how widespread this sort of material is. Thus far indications point to some explosive process. Looks like material is similar to vesicular basalts.

These rovers are good landers. We were forced to sit still for long periods of time. Forced us to develop a winter campaign. McMurdo panorama captured at full resolution by Spirit while rover over wintered. Best surface panorama yet captured - or likely to be captured by either rover. By staring at whitish material (salts) on surface for a long period of time - color may have changed,

Found two more metallic meteorites. Did detailed soil analysis as well. Soil rich in hematite and Zinc. Also measured Calcium and Sulfur - found in 1:1 molar ratio. Since winter is when best water ice clouds form, able to do a good cloud survey.

What is next for Spirit. Planning is driving by images collected at campaign site. Using MRO imagery able to see things not visible from Spirit or MGS. Oval shaped feature that looks like a potential volcanic vent is close by.

Opportunity - as we traversed we started to see rocks that had no blueberries- hematite concretions. This was interesting. Then we got into the annulus of Victoria crater found blueberries again. We think that as we went south, we went slightly uphill - different layers of sediment. Think that ground water rises to a certain level, and leaves blueberries as it retreats. Then Aeolian erosion removes material. Then Victoria crater formed, excavated lower layers, and blueberries are found in ejecta blanket. We want to see, as we go into the crater, if concentrations of blueberries change - allow hypothesis to be tested.

MRO image of Victoria and Opportunity was obtained and swiftly delivered to MER team to allow real time planning of drive to find a good entrance point. Driving around crater now. Able to see stratigraphy inside crater. Able to see pre-impact surface and then see jumbled impact breccia with ejecta blocks above that layer. Seeing lateral variations in short distances that are indicative of Aeolian deposition in crater walls.

Compared inside of crater to sandstone features in Zion National Park (showed an insert of his rock hammer for scale).

Elemental chemistry of a rock is similar to a small pebble called Barberton, a 3 cm pepple found near Endurance crater. This may be meteoritic debris.

Opportunity is doing great in terms of power - 600 watts. We are going to continue our clockwise rim traverse for a while. Not going to go all the way around. Need to put together a diagram as to how stratigraphy varies. As we go we are doing two things. Looking at alcoves for entrance/exit routes. One entrance point is at Duck bay - other at Bottomless Bay. Both may be adequate egress routes. We are also waiting for seasons to change for sun to move south so that when we enter alcoves we have enough power to do science on our way down.

HiRise just finished stereo mapping. Now have our first good digital elevation model. Looking to avoid dune field as we enter the crater - that is a rover trap. We had 7 meters of stratigraphy to examine in Endurance. We have three or four times that in Victoria.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#373 2007-01-13 07:28:21

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Short but sweet movie of Martian clouds - imaged by Opportunity - assembled by Dilo


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#374 2007-03-06 21:37:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,262

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Opportunity Passes 10-Kilometer Mark (6.2 miles) by crossing 50.51 meters (165.7 feet) of flat ground during the 1,080th Martian day since arriving on Mars. It was originally planned for a three month tour, with a expected driving-distance goal of 600 meters (1,969 feet).

Time to send a lander to bring something back...

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#375 2007-03-18 18:32:24

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)

Spirit Team wants to go back to Tyrone

Apparently those loose salty soils under such a thin veneer of wind blown dust are an indication of geologically recent mineral spring activity or volcanic activity that released water vapor.

IMHO, Opportunity encountered something very similar at Purgatory Dune.  Although the soil layers were not as clearly defined, it showed evidence of very recent - possibly immediately ongoing - water vapor activity.  The Opportunity team took their sweet time investigating it, and didn't even point the imager down until a month and ten meters past the largest deposit, which was disappointing, but Spirit now has a chance to examine a significantly larger and much better defined deposit.

I predict it will find many of the same things we saw at Purgatory: powdery deposits that have a high salt content and show signs of having been freeze dried rather than wind blown and loosely settled;  salty duricrusts on the surface extending through the upper dust layer, which will no longer be loose but cemented in patches; and, most importantly, gaps around pebbles in the duricrust where microscopic soil particles have been blown free by water vapor flow.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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