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View Full Version : Discussion: Spirit's Mountaintop View



Fraser
2005-Sep-02, 03:50 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Spirit rover has reached the summit of Husband Hill, and is now taking some time to enjoy the view. After climbing for months, the hardy rover is now 106 m (348) feet higher than it was when it first landed. This view from above gives mission planners a chance to analyze the terrain in all directions and decide where to send Spirit next.

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

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

TuTone
2005-Sep-02, 09:33 PM
I'm proud of those Rovers. They're still making tracks on the Red Planet. Money well invested....

Greg
2005-Sep-03, 07:02 PM
These rovers are doing so well now that we seem to just take them for granted. It is great that they might keep going for another year. Kudos to NASA and JPL for the unprescedented success of this mission.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-04, 02:19 AM
I just read in Squyres' book where he asked someone to come up with a plan to take some broad, close imagery of the outcrop in Eagle crater (Opportunity's landing site). The guy came back with a plan that took ten sols, and Squyres freaked. "We can't do that - it's over ten percent of our mission lifetime!" Seems kind of funny now.

I am really amazed that the rovers have lasted this long and are still going strong. I scoffed at someone who months ago predicted that at least one of the rovers will make it to a thousand sols. That seems almost reasonable now. Certainly surviving a full Martian year seems well within the realm of possibility as it would only take a few more months.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-04, 04:33 PM
They are not operating these machines as though they are in a hurry against some final deadline. They are doing unrushed science at each step. For those of us who see destinations as goals, this can sometimes be frustrating, but they are doing the right thing. I would like very much for Opportunity to get a look at Erebus crater and move on to the big crater to the South. Why? I guess because I think (somehow) that there is more to be learned by looking at the deep strata that should be exposed in the crater walls. But they are looking at exposed surface rocks now for the first time. It looks almost like halite. Acres and acres of halite covered with hematite sand dunes.

Greg
2005-Sep-05, 03:39 AM
Finding halite is quite interesting. Beyond its practical uses for porported future colonists, it seems to substantiate theories that subsurface water oozes up from below ground and leaves these deposits. I believe a similar geologic process takes place somehwere in Utah, USA and accounts for the "blueberries" or nodules of hematite that Opportunity found earlier. My guess is that the water would be heated by geothermal processes rather than deposited from runoff elsewhere if this model is correct. It is pausible that the halite could be the residue of longer standing water pools and be aking to salt flat formations on Earth. The geologists on the JPL team should be able to figure out how it got there by further study of the rock strata.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-05, 03:44 AM
it seems to substantiate theories that subsurface water oozes up from below ground and leaves these deposits.
I'm not sure I'd use the present tense here, this halite could be 3 billion years old.

Eric Vaxxine
2005-Sep-06, 12:47 PM
Why do we have two rovers in such similar places when they could be uncovering unique and different areas simultaneously!

http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/r03_r09/images/R09/R0903461.html

ToSeek
2005-Sep-06, 03:35 PM
Why do we have two rovers in such similar places when they could be uncovering unique and different areas simultaneously!

http://www.msss.com/moc_gallery/r03_r09/images/R09/R0903461.html

Because the rovers use solar arrays for their energy source, they had to land within about 20 degrees of the equator. Polar missions were not possible.