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View Full Version : Why it's important to reach Victoria Crater



Nirgal
2005-Mar-19, 12:46 PM
I feel that for reaching the great Victoria Crater will perhaps be the most important remaining goal of the MER mission.
Certainly not only for the scientific value (geologically, Victoria is
probably just a large version of Endurance Crater).

It will be the beauty and fascination of photographs taken there and their impact on the media, public and future funding of mars missions

Judging from the Orbiter views and previous imagery of Endurance Crater
I predict that rover images taken close to the rim of Victoria Crater will be by far the most beautiful, phantastic landscape view ever obtained from another planet.

I'm sure that those photographs would have the potential to greatly spark public interest in Mars (and any other interplanetary) exploration,
and in the long term even space tourism ...

Similar to the effect of the first drawings or black&white photographs of exotic landscapes and animal like elephants and giraffes to the public that sparked interest in the exploration of other continents like Africa in the 19th century, later followed by intercontinental mass tourism ...

I'm imagining a say-good-bye-panorama from opportunity showing
the majestic abyss of Victoria Crater with it's dune fields and the distant jagged cliffs of the opposite rim glowing red in the hazy martian evening sun ...

I'm sure, besides all the scientific discoveris of this mission, it will primarily be this Image that will remain in the public memory,
fueling the dreams and visions of the coming generation ...

:)

ToSeek
2005-Mar-19, 06:31 PM
I hope they can get inside the crater. The rim looks rather formidable.

And if they get really ambitious, there's a huge crater about the same distance from Victoria that Victoria is from Endurance.

cerin
2005-Mar-19, 08:33 PM
I'd say it is twice as far from Victoria, as Victoria is from Endurance, ToSeek!

And, from the looks of it, it's highly eroded as well as large, and so it would be hard to recognise as a crater from ground level.............

Nirgal
2005-Mar-20, 05:47 PM
Victoria is the "perfect crater"
at least as far as beauty of of landscape/vista is concerned :)
Significantly larger and certainly even much more impressive than the (already very impressive) Endurance crater.
But at the same time not too large, not too much "eroded", such that it will be clearly still be recognized as a crater
( the opposite rim will be clearly visible despite the athmospheric haze and the plante's curvature ... unlike the very large craters such as Gusev etc.)

just can't wait getting there ... :)

JohnD
2005-Mar-21, 01:49 PM
Nirgal,
Can we see this paragon of impact points via MarsExpress or any other way, please?

John

ToSeek
2005-Mar-21, 02:51 PM
Nirgal,
Can we see this paragon of impact points via MarsExpress or any other way, please?

John

If you're looking for an image of Victoria Crater, here's one (http://www.habitablezone.com/space/messages/370771.html), along with a comparison with Endurance.

Tacitus
2005-Mar-21, 04:44 PM
People do realise that if Opportunity does get to Victoria it is likely the vehicle's last port of call, don't they? Especially if they decide to send it down into the crater.

At least that's what I have heard - anyone else heard anything different?

Nicolas
2005-Mar-21, 04:49 PM
People do realise that if Opportunity does get to Victoria it is likely the vehicle's last port of call, don't they? Especially if they decide to send it down into the crater.

At least that's what I have heard - anyone else heard anything different?

That they were expected to last three months? 8-[ :)

Seriously, I haven't heard official claims. But Victoria (if reached) might very well be the last call indeed. I'm mainly thinking about difficulties in getting out (assuming they can and do go in).

ToSeek
2005-Mar-21, 05:26 PM
People do realise that if Opportunity does get to Victoria it is likely the vehicle's last port of call, don't they? Especially if they decide to send it down into the crater.

At least that's what I have heard - anyone else heard anything different?

They haven't planned beyond Victoria because they don't even expect to get that far. Of course, once upon a time the Columbia Hills were a long shot.

JohnD
2005-Mar-21, 08:21 PM
Thank you, ToSeek - I can see what people mean!
John

Chip
2005-Mar-21, 09:08 PM
People do realise that if Opportunity does get to Victoria it is likely the vehicle's last port of call, don't they? Especially if they decide to send it down into the crater. At least that's what I have heard - anyone else heard anything different?

Not me, but it would be exceedingly cool if Opportunity made it to the rim of Victoria. It is likely a lot rougher getting up there, and it might be impossible to go down inside, but maybe Opportunity can get a glimpse near the edge. The field of dunes at the bottom of Victoria appear to be as vast as all of Endurance crater!

Cugel
2005-Mar-22, 11:18 AM
Well, its a 10 km. drive from Vostok to Victoria (at least). This would take 100 driving days at an average of 100 meters a day. And of course we also want to do some science in the 'Edged terrain'. This would add up to a 6 month journey from where we are now to Victoria. The good news is that we will be in Martian summer by then and solar array output will be high. The bad news is that by September we are at the end of the current funding extension.... Maybe a few nice pictures from Victoria could buy us another 3 month by then?

(That would bring the rover close to a full 2 Earth years of operation! Its probably a bit too much to ask for)

ToSeek
2005-Mar-22, 07:41 PM
Well, its a 10 km. drive from Vostok to Victoria (at least).

More like 5 kilometers, actually, depending on how many detours they take. Still, that's farther than distance champ Spirit has gone in its entire lifetime.

Cugel
2005-Mar-22, 10:36 PM
Well, its a 10 km. drive from Vostok to Victoria (at least).

More like 5 kilometers, actually, depending on how many detours they take. Still, that's farther than distance champ Spirit has gone in its entire lifetime.

9.

ToSeek
2005-Mar-23, 01:44 AM
Well, its a 10 km. drive from Vostok to Victoria (at least).

More like 5 kilometers, actually, depending on how many detours they take. Still, that's farther than distance champ Spirit has gone in its entire lifetime.

9.

I don't know where you get 9. This map (http://mer.rlproject.com/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6740) shows the route. Leg 1 (from the heat shield to Vostok) was 1.2 km, and the remaining three legs combined seem to be only about four times that one.

Cugel
2005-Mar-23, 09:12 AM
This is what I did (from the map you presented in the Vostok to Victoria thread, first posting):

I measured the distance from Vostok (end of leg 1) to Victoria crater (the rim) in a straight line. This is about 15 cm on my screen. Then I took the scaling of the map (the legend), which suggests that 1 cm. is 500 meter. This results in a straight line distance of 7.5 km. So, this is not the zig-zag trajectory as plotted on that map, which is probably the result of 'crater-hopping' navigation. I simply estimated that the real distance covered by Opportunity must be something in the order of 10 km.

However, there is no unit behind the 500 so maybe I'm wrong in my assumption that it denotes meters. Or maybe I shouldn't be putting rulers on a computer screen.

ToSeek
2005-Mar-23, 02:52 PM
I see your point now, but every online mention I can find of the distance from Endurance to Vostok ( http://www.astrobio.net/news/print.php?sid=1312 , http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/rover_udpate_041027.html ) says 5 kilometers. Maybe that 500 m bar got cut off or something.

Cugel
2005-Mar-23, 03:52 PM
I see your point now, but every online mention I can find of the distance from Endurance to Vostok ( http://www.astrobio.net/news/print.php?sid=1312 , http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/rover_udpate_041027.html ) says 5 kilometers. Maybe that 500 m bar got cut off or something.

Ok, it is 5 km. Good news, because I sincerely believe the rover will be able to cover that sort of distance. Thanks for the correction.