PDA

View Full Version : "Spirit" Rolls out onto the Martian Surface!



Vega115
2004-Jan-15, 02:08 PM
After twelve day of sitting pretty, taking pictures upon the lander craft, NASA's Spirit has finally rolled out onto Mars! In a recent article I read, a NASA employee said that "This officially starts the mission we waited for 3.5 years for"

Here is a image:

http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2004/images/01/15/top.spirit.rolls.nasa.jpg

And any day now, Oppurtunity is landing I believe, is it on the 24th? or 25th?

amstrad
2004-Jan-15, 02:22 PM
And any day now, Oppurtunity is landing I believe, is it on the 24th? or 25th?

Depends on what time zone you are in:

January 24, 2004 about 9:05 pm PST

LTC8K6
2004-Jan-15, 02:30 PM
Fake! I see a Snapple bottle! Fake! :lol:

Excellent. More of our tracks in Martian soil.

Swift
2004-Jan-15, 02:57 PM
=D> =D> =D>
Excellent, dudes. Road trip.

rigel
2004-Jan-15, 03:15 PM
When does spirit get to leave the "junkyard" and visit some interesting craters and hills?

ToSeek
2004-Jan-15, 04:47 PM
When does spirit get to leave the "junkyard" and visit some interesting craters and hills?

It will probably spend several days close to the lander doing some initial sampling. Then the plan is to take it to a crater about 250 meters away, which may take up to a week to get to. After that, they're going to aim it at the hills to the east. However, mission success is defined as a 600 meter traverse, and the hills are over two kilometers away, so there's no guarantee that it will make it.

See this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=10464) for info of the Spirit's travel plans.

ToSeek
2004-Jan-15, 05:38 PM
The Spirit team is passing out t-shirts that say "My other car is on Mars." ;)

Ian Goddard
2004-Jan-15, 07:32 PM
Google on Mars...

http://www.google.com/logos/mars_rover.gif :P

TheGalaxyTrio
2004-Jan-15, 07:54 PM
When does spirit get to leave the "junkyard" and visit some interesting craters and hills?

Ah, but it's the junk we're interested in, you see. This place might have been at the bottom of a sea some number of geological epochs ago.

If you've ever been out to a dry lake bed (I used to launch amateur rockets out at El Mirage Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert), it does have a similar look, especially the way some of the rocks look embedded.

hen again I suppose a million years of dust storms could produce the same effect. :-k

EckJerome
2004-Jan-15, 11:50 PM
NASA scientists were speculating at a briefing a few days ago that much of the floor of Gustev crater may have been significantly rearranged by meteorite impacts since any hypothetical lake existed there. By going to explore the nearby impact crater, they hope to find rocks that may have been blasted out from the (presumably) now buried lakebed.

Personally, I'm guessing that many of the rocks on the surface are actually meteorite fragments.

Ian Goddard
2004-Jan-18, 07:27 AM
The London Observer has a somewhat downbeat story:


US Mars rover misses best sites

America's Spirit rover has landed in an arid enclave of Mars that is tantalisingly out of reach of the region's most promising sediments and rocks, dismayed scientists have discovered. [...]
Well, even if so, the mission has gone so well. Just getting Spirit to the location to find out it might not be as good as expected was better than if it had been lost and we were left planning to go there again. But Gusev Crater could yet prove to be educational. Indeed, could any location on Mars not have something to teach us?

Nanoda
2004-Jan-18, 10:55 PM
BTW, does anyone know why there isn't anything to look at at JPL (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/mer2004/index.html) these past 2 days? Is there a technical reason, or does the webmaster just not do weekends?

RBG
2004-Jan-19, 12:03 AM
The London Observer has a somewhat downbeat story:


US Mars rover misses best sites

America's Spirit rover has landed in an arid enclave of Mars that is tantalisingly out of reach of the region's most promising sediments and rocks, dismayed scientists have discovered. [...]

They missed all the non-arid spots? Nuts.

Hopefully they'll find someplace where a meteor has blasted through all the "top-soil".

RBG

Superluminal
2004-Jan-19, 04:45 AM
Nanoda wrote
BTW, does anyone know why there isn't anything to look at JPL these past 2 days?

Maybe that the webmaster is off for the weekend, or it could be that Spirit hasn't done much the past couple of days.

nebularain
2004-Jan-19, 01:56 PM
What? The webmaster gets to have two days off like the rest of us?
:o

:P

PeteB
2004-Jan-19, 03:14 PM
The Observer article may have been based on this AP story (or visa versa?)
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&ncid=753&e=10&u=/ap/20040117/ap_on_sc/mars_rover_water

I think that this mischaracterizes the expectations of many in the science team. It has been recognized for some time that volcanic material from Apollinaris could have modified the crater floor. One of the main proponents for this site, Nathalie Cabrol, has said that she didn't expect to see lake deposits right at the surface. Here is a summary from a year ago of the science questions that they want to investigate
http://marsoweb.nas.nasa.gov/mer2003/doc/arcadia_03/talks/Cabrol/cabrol.pdf
Note that the eastern hills were aready identified as a prime location of interest. The fact that they have gotten as close as 3 km is a real stroke of luck given that the point that they were aiming for in the center of the landing ellipse was 4-6 km farther to the NW.

Don't believe everything you read in the press! :-?