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#126 2004-12-15 13:42:38

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Pasted from Astronotes:

Mars Rover Eyes Foreign Object

Fresh from some six months of driving inside Endurance Crater, the Opportunity Mars rover now has a piece of foreign space hardware in its sights.

After successfully climbing out of the stadium-sized crater, engineers are now steering the robot toward a part of the spacecraft’s entry hardware. The discarded gear tumbled to the surface of Mars, part of the landing equipment that protected the rover from its heated plunge through Mars’ atmosphere in January.

h_oppor_remains1215_01.jpg

Opportunity Mars rover is wheeling toward a discarded section of its entry, descent, and landing system. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell (Click to Enlarge)


The rover’s trek to the nearby heat shield is on its driving trajectory this week, confirmed Guy Webster, a spokesman for the Mars rover project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

A goal of Mars scientists is to inspect the deepest, freshly dug hole known on the red planet. Meanwhile, spacecraft engineers are itching to assess just how well the heat shield withstood its fiery fall through the Martian atmosphere. Photos sent back could be helpful in designing or testing future heat shield designs.

Wheeling itself across Meridiani Planum, Opportunity remains in excellent health with its solar power meter nearly as high now as it was at the start of its Mars mission.

-- Leonard David

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#127 2004-12-15 14:04:44

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

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.htm … 793]Spirit boot-scootin' for Husband Hill

*Has been driving 5 of the past 7 days.  Total odometry for mission is currently 2.45 miles. 

Spirit's intermediate goal is a ridge dubbed "Larry's Lookout," which is roughly 75 meters (246 feet) away. Getting there using Spirit's current path will be a challenge given the sand, slope, and rocks in this area.

Am looking forward to the view from Husband Hill.  Am enjoying the gentle ripples of the sand in the pic, and that big rock...

--Cindy


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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#128 2004-12-16 10:00:10

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

All good news!
    Things haven't been as exciting just lately on Mars, though maybe we're pretty spoilt(! ), so I'm looking forward to some interesting new findings in the weeks ahead.
                                                 smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#129 2004-12-16 10:07:09

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

A one year on big announcement of confirmation of life on Mars is not a prediction, just a hope.

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#130 2004-12-17 02:06:56

djellison
Member
From: Leicester,UK
Registered: 2004-08-31
Posts: 113

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

A one year on big announcement of confirmation of life on Mars is not a prediction, just a hope.

Graeme

These rovers can not and will not confirm life on mars. They're geologist, not biologists.

What they CAN do is speculate that conditions may have been right for life to form billions of years ago

Doug

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#131 2004-12-17 06:31:55

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

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.htm … 23]Science magazine's praise of the MERs

*December 17th edition hails them as "Breakthrough of the Year."  :up:

The magazine's lead article on the rovers, "On Mars, A Second Chance for Life" by Richard Kerr, begins: "Inanimate, wheeled, one-armed boxes roaming another planet have done something no human has ever managed: They have discovered another place in the universe where life could once have existed." It continues: "The two Mars rovers [Spirit in Gusev Crater and Opportunity in Meridiani Planum] confirmed what many Mars scientists have long suspected: Long ago, enough water pooled on the face of Earth's neighbor long enough to allow the possibility of life."

*Article mentions Viking's contribution too.

The journal, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that its annual top honor is awarded for the mission's discovery of evidence for the prolonged presence of potentially life-supporting, salty, acidic water on the planet's surface.

--Cindy


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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#132 2004-12-17 07:22:19

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

A one year on big announcement of confirmation of life on Mars is not a prediction, just a hope.
Graeme

These rovers can not and will not confirm life on mars. They're geologist, not biologists.
What they CAN do is speculate that conditions may have been right for life to form billions of years ago

So a geologist can never recognize a fossil, not that I'm saying they'll come across huge fossils of course  :;):

I think the optics on the rovers have enough resolution to be able to pick up signs that could prove Mars once supported life.

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#133 2004-12-17 10:11:46

djellison
Member
From: Leicester,UK
Registered: 2004-08-31
Posts: 113

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

I think the optics on the rovers have enough resolution to be able to pick up signs that could prove Mars once supported life.

Graeme

If that were true - they'd have done it already

Doug

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#134 2004-12-17 13:27:38

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

I think the optics on the rovers have enough resolution to be able to pick up signs that could prove Mars once supported life.

If that were true - they'd have done it already

You can't blame me for wishful thinking, and you never know, there is still and chance.

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#135 2004-12-17 13:41:00

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Not really with all the loose top soil and dust making things that would normally be possible to be seen. Best chances would be a clifts or walls but we have not been able to get that close to any of them.

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#136 2004-12-17 13:50:26

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Come on guys, we need some more optimistic thinking big_smile 


Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#137 2004-12-17 13:53:54

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

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*Oh when, oh when will we send humans there?
Oh when, oh when will it be?

The Moon-First crowd and the going around
are ticking me off to a "T"!  :rant:

(Life on Mars either way could be settled more easily!)

--Cindy (in a different sort of mood today)


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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#138 2004-12-17 13:59:26

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

*Oh when, oh when will we send humans there?
Oh when, oh when will it be?
The Moon-First crowd and the going around
are ticking me off to a "T"!  :rant:
(Life on Mars either way could be settled more easily!)

Humans explorers would certainly help somewhat I agree, and there does not look to be any good plans for getting us there sad  thats why we have to keep pushing whatever sources of data (S&O) as much as we can until humans do stand on the surface and get 'up close and personal'.

--Cindy (in a different sort of mood today)

Light blue touch paper and retreat...? tongue

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#139 2004-12-17 14:35:56

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

We actually could but it would require a clean sheet rocket design and most likely in orbit assembly to get the ship large enough to do the science on the first mission out there. In fact it may mean multiple ships for each purpose with the posibility of them being not sent at the same time.

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#140 2004-12-17 19:13:10

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Cindy:-

*Oh when, oh when will we send humans there?
Oh when, oh when will it be?

The Moon-First crowd and the going around
are ticking me off to a "T"!

     :laugh: Ha-ha!!  Nice one, Cindy.

    NA-SA, NA-SA, give us a Mars trip, do.
    I'm fruss-tray-ted; yawning with boredom, too.
    I won't see a martian city,
    I'm old, and more's the pity.
    And circling round, so near the ground, is beginning to make me blue.

  [Sorry .. couldn't resist a reply!   tongue  ]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#141 2004-12-17 19:23:13

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

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Cindy:-

*Oh when, oh when will we send humans there?
Oh when, oh when will it be?

The Moon-First crowd and the going around
are ticking me off to a "T"!

     :laugh: Ha-ha!!  Nice one, Cindy.

    NA-SA, NA-SA, give us a Mars trip, do.
    I'm fruss-tray-ted; yawning with boredom, too.
    I won't see a martian city,
    I'm old, and more's the pity.
    And circling round, so near the ground, is beginning to make me blue.

  [Sorry .. couldn't resist a reply!   tongue  ]

:laugh: 

Yours was better than mine!  :up: 

["I'm fruss-tray-ted; yawning with boredom, too"  -- LOL!]

--Cindy

P.S.:  You're wrong about one thing:  You're not old.  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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#142 2004-12-19 04:36:33

remcook
Banned
Registered: 2004-01-07
Posts: 78

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

I just had to link this...

http://homepage.mac.com/michaelhoward/m … ...igh.mov

get out your glasses!

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#143 2004-12-20 07:23:56

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Phew .. that's a wild disjointed ride!   yikes
    I think the Burns Cliff sequence was the most coherent part but some of the other sections certainly helped to give me a better 'feel' for the topography than I've had up to now.

    It was hard on the eyeballs but thanks anyhow, Remcook!  :up:   smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#144 2004-12-20 08:36:21

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

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ … _br2.jpg]I see the shadow of someone's "head"

*Peek-a-boo!  Spirit on Sol 337.

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ … .html]Four images

*The pic above; then the 3D version; then Left Eye and finally Right Eye.  :up:

--Cindy


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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#145 2004-12-20 11:16:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Great stuff from these tiny robots but still no fossils. But even if there where clear cut evidence of one how would we argue on if it were life or just some geological oddity.
This same but simular arguement rages on for how long ago did life spring up here on earth. Can we ever answer the questions without mans presence on that redish planet or will we conclude that there can be no life there and that there never was? I hope that is not the case.
Study Resolves Doubt About Origin Of Earth's Oldest Rocks
life-australia-oldest-bg.jpg
Sort of reminds me of the mars meteorites...

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#146 2004-12-20 18:11:23

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Hey, SpaceNut!
    You really should be careful presenting us with pictures like the one in your last post. I thought for a few seconds this was a new image from Mars .. with sinuous trails in the rock surface.
    I nearly had a heart attack!   big_smile

    I've been straining my eyes looking for any evidence of fossils in the Mars photos for about a year now. Please try to be more sensitive to the possibly delicate psychological state of New Mars contributors like me!
                                           tongue    :;):


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#147 2004-12-20 21:42:33

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,629

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Sorry Shaun:  sad  Was trying to bring forth the point that we have already seen meteorites from Mars that have had the same feature being debunked as not life with simular features.

How can we then trust much of the same when we know where this life has come from and we still do not want to acknowledge it when it is right in front of us.

Maybe it is the age that bothers the scienctist. I for one feel that we have already seen what will be found with sample returns with these very same meteorites that were previously dismissed.

I would love to see a real fossil thou.. big_smile

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#148 2004-12-20 22:48:22

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

It's O.K., SpaceNut. I've forgiven you now (not sure my heart valves have, though!  :;):  )

    In case you don't know it, I'm one of those people who believe Mars has life today, in one form or another, and has probably always had it.
    For this reason, I'm more inclined to believe also that the martian meteorite, ALH84001, probably contains the chemical signatures of bacterial life. Each of the lines of evidence broached in 1996 by the scientists involved in the meteorite's investigation may be less than convincing but, when taken together, I think the case is compelling.
    I'm particularly impressed by the small crystals of magnetite found in the meteorite, which are purportedly biogenic in origin. I know some recent reports suggest that abiogenic processes are quite capable of producing the same effect but Dr. Chris McKay, of NASA Ames, still maintains that the profusion of evidence in the same rock is highly indicative of life. And, for what it's worth, I think he's right.

    The article you linked for us (many thanks, by the way - very interesting) is important in that it sweeps aside doubts as to the morphology of those famous Greenland rocks. Apparently, they're sedimentary, not igneous. Because they're sedimentary, one of the most important potential objections to their having within them the chemical residues of very early life has gone.
    New work on the rocks can now go ahead with added confidence and, if more evidence of the kind of chemistry associated with bacteria is found, the beginnings of life on Earth may legitimately be pushed back to 3.85 billion years ago, or even earlier.

    Eventually, it may be possible to show that life appeared on both Mars and Earth at around the same time - perhaps 4 billion years ago. If it's the same type of life, and if its appearance on one planet precedes its appearance on the other by a geologically insignificant period, we may be in a position to deduce which planet saw the genesis of that life before impact transfer propagated it.
    Then we might learn whether we're actually expatriate martians, or if any life found on Mars represents the first instance of emigration from Earth!
                                                  big_smile

    Exciting stuff!   :up:    smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#149 2004-12-21 04:08:06

GraemeSkinner
Member
From: Eden Hall, Cumbria
Registered: 2004-02-20
Posts: 563
Website

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

Someone sent me this link, knowing I like to following all things Mars I don't know if this site belongs to a NM member, but I just think its worrying.
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/extrasense/]Link

Graeme


There was a young lady named Bright.
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
in a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
--Arthur Buller--

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#150 2004-12-21 05:37:12

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Opportunity & Spirit **8** - ...More...

It's typical of so many similar sites.
    I've looked at quite a few of them, trying to see what I'm supposed to see, but I've never seen anything yet that didn't look entirely natural. Unusual, perhaps, in some cases, but still just natural objects.

    The only thing the MERs have spotted so far, which looked to me like it could actually be a fossil, was the infamous segmented 'crinoid', discovered by Opportunity on its 33rd Sol:-

Crinoid%20Martian%20Fossil.jpg

    A side-by-side comparison with a terrestrial crinoid fossil serves to illustrate how intriguing the martian formation really is:-

FossilComp1.jpg

    Strangely enough, the 'crinoid' was never discussed in 'respectable' circles. Given the potential enormity of its implications, that surprised me very much and it still sticks in my mind as something I can't comprehend and I can't quite forget.

    Putting aside the NASA Party-Line, isn't anyone else out there the least bit interested in that incredible looking rock formation?
                                                   ???


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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