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ToSeek
2004-Dec-13, 04:40 PM
Voila! (http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportunity/forward_hazcam/2004-12-12/1F156148934EFF3900P1201L0M1.JPG)

Next stop, the heat shield (http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportunity/navcam/2004-12-12/1N156149017EFF3900P0735L0M1.JPG)

(Yes, I know this has been pointed out elsewhere, but I've been waiting for months to use this topic title.) :D

According to my notes, Opportunity spent over 180 sols inside Endurance: double the minimum for mission success and almost 50 sols more than it spent getting there and exploring the outside. Guess it was worth it!

Swift
2004-Dec-13, 05:38 PM
Maybe I missed it somewhere, but why are they going to the heatshield?

tlbs101
2004-Dec-13, 05:57 PM
2 stated reasons for going to the heat shield (maybe someone else has a link handy).

1. The shield dug a fresh pit, deeper than Oppy's wheels could have dug.

2. The microscope can examine the heat shield for "wear".

If the shield material is still fairly intact they can consider using less material on future missions.

If the shield material is almost all gone from "burning up", then they have to consider beefing up the material on future missions.

-----------
I was kind of hoping the shield wouldn't be there -- because aliens hauled it off -- as proof of intelligent life on Mars. j/k :lol:

Nicolas
2004-Dec-13, 06:26 PM
That picture of the heat shield gave me a sense of scale again: it appears from textual descriptions like the way to the heat shield is a long run. If you look at the photo, a man would reach it in several minutes. Still very impressive mission the rovers are doing for (solar powered) robots!! And nice to see that Oppy has made it out the crater.

Did Oppy use the shortcut or the same path as the way in?

ToSeek
2004-Dec-13, 06:42 PM
That picture of the heat shield gave me a sense of scale again: it appears from textual descriptions like the way to the heat shield is a long run. If you look at the photo, a man would reach it in several minutes. Still very impressive mission the rovers are doing for (solar powered) robots!! And nice to see that Oppy has made it out the crater.

Did Oppy use the shortcut or the same path as the way in?

Pretty much the same path, I think - the "shortcut" was too steep. In fact, as someone pointed out, you can see in the current photos the tracks from when Opportunity was in the area before.

harlequin
2004-Dec-14, 05:12 AM
Voila! (http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportunity/forward_hazcam/2004-12-12/1F156148934EFF3900P1201L0M1.JPG)

Next stop, the heat shield (http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opportunity/navcam/2004-12-12/1N156149017EFF3900P0735L0M1.JPG)

(Yes, I know this has been pointed out elsewhere, but I've been waiting for months to use this topic title.) :D

According to my notes, Opportunity spent over 180 sols inside Endurance: double the minimum for mission success and almost 50 sols more than it spent getting there and exploring the outside. Guess it was worth it!

I once said, well before Opportunity even reached Endurance, that I expected NASA would drive Opportunity into Endurance and spend the rest of the mission there. But then again, would knew that the rovers would last so long. Well on to the shield and on to the Etched Terrain. And put the petal to the metal.

A Thousand Pardons
2004-Dec-14, 05:19 AM
And put the petal to the metal.
roses on Mars!

Nicolas
2004-Dec-14, 03:33 PM
Make a nice burn-out on the start line and examine the trenches you dug afterwards :)

ToSeek
2004-Dec-15, 12:24 AM
Opportunity leaves Endurance Crater (http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/041214opportunity.html)


Opportunity's next task will be to examine the heat shield that protected it during its fiery reentry on January 25. The heatshield lies close to Endurance and engineers want to check its condition. The shield is made out of an aluminum honeycomb structure and was coated with an ablative material to take the brunt of reentry.

After that, ground controllers plan to drive the rover south to a rugged region of etched terrain.

01101001
2005-Jan-03, 07:48 PM
In the January 3 press conference Steve Squyres said the objectives on the way to the etched terrain are to hopscotch among the convenient small craters along the way, and to take a good look at a crater, or crater-like thing, called Vostok.

Vostok in this large image (http://mer.rlproject.com/end_vic_4m.jpg), I think, is the crater almost due south of Endurance, about one-quarter of the way from the top of the image, maybe 20-percent the diamater of Endurance.

Squyres said it looked much different from the craters already examined, perhaps eroded much more.

ToSeek
2005-Jan-03, 10:08 PM
Vostok shown here. (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07193)