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View Full Version : Discussion: Opportunity Rolls Free from the Dune



Fraser
2005-Jun-06, 04:34 PM
SUMMARY: When Opportunity got its wheels stuck in a sand dune more than a month ago, operators had no idea it would be so difficult to get it moving again. So they were relieved this weekend when Opportunity finally maneuvered its way out. It was very difficult for the rover to get any traction in the ripple-shaped dune, and its spinning wheels traveled the equivalent of 191 metres (629 feet). Scientists now want to analyze the sand dune to understand why this one bogged down the rover, unlike dozens of other dunes it's rolled across without a problem.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/oppy_free_dune.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

dave_f
2005-Jun-06, 05:03 PM
Good news for the Mars rovers team! Now we can resume what exectly can be found in that "etched" area nearby Opportunuty's present location. Incidentally I stumbled on this web page... awesome animations of the wheels digging the rover out of the dune:

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/pre.../20050524a.html (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20050524a.html)

Joff
2005-Jun-06, 05:11 PM
It is great news that Opportunity can continue roving. I've been anxiously awaiting the outcome as I'm sure many have. She's no longer destined to end her days as a Martian weather station....

Incidentally although the NASA press release uses the image you've used, Fraser, this:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all...TIP1314L0M1.JPG (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/r/484/1R171155999EFF55TIP1314L0M1.JPG)
is really a view back into the dune that Opportunity was stuck in.

And yes, dave_f, those gifs are really good. The right rear wheel gif that I downloaded shows that the wheel digs in considerably as the rover makes painful progress.

dave_f
2005-Jun-06, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by Joff@Jun 6 2005, 12:11 PM
And yes, dave_f, those gifs are really good. The right rear wheel gif that I downloaded shows that the wheel digs in considerably as the rover makes painful progress.
I was wondering just how deep that trench was. I wonder if it's a new record for the depth of a trench on Mars. Now that the rover is unstuck, this will bring in some interesting data on the soil composition in the area. :ph34r:

Joff
2005-Jun-06, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by dave_f
... a new record for the depth of a trench on Mars.

Probably... but :angry: that naughty Opportunity filled it in ;)

antoniseb
2005-Jun-06, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by dave_f@Jun 6 2005, 06:06 PM
Now that the rover is unstuck, this will bring in some interesting data on the soil composition in the area.
I wonder how much different the soil is six inches deep in a sand dune from the surface? I'd guess that there probably isn't much new and different in those trenches.

TuTone
2005-Jun-06, 09:33 PM
Those gifs were amazing!

Don Alexander
2005-Jun-07, 09:25 AM
Now let's just hope it doesn't land in the next dune...

Nice animations!

Eric Vaxxine
2005-Jun-07, 12:16 PM
Is there anyone out there doing an animation of the entire journeys of the rovers?

I saw the Giotto animations (for want of a better word for Frame by Frame) all those years ago when it flew past Halleys Comet.

I have not seen a single frame of Spirit or Opportunity on television, but I guess there must be someone, somewhere doing a day by day film of these long lived, rechargeable, self cleaning machines.

Maybe we could land one of the next generation rovers here:

http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/r10_r15/im...4/R1400130.html (http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/r10_r15/images/R14/R1400130.html)


or here

http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/m07_m12/im...8/M0804688.html (http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/m07_m12/images/M08/M0804688.html)