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Thread: Discussion: Spirit Reaches Out to Adirondack

  1. #1
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    SUMMARY: Spirit is reaching out to test the nearby rock, "Adirondack", which controllers targeted to get a better understanding of its composition and origin; it will be performing a series of tests today and tonight. The rover already used its instruments to examine a patch of soil near the lander and found some surprising results: the soil in Gusev Crater seems volcanic in origin, not sedimentary. Its instruments have also found the presence of a mineral called olivine, which doesn't resist weathering very well and is normally evidence of volcanic deposits.

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

  2. #2
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    Olivine???? wow - a ferromagnesian indicative of mafic (non-silicate) lava flows - on earth they are found mostly in high temperature origin basalt flows, alot of time with scoria - which come from Hawaiian and Strombolian type eruptions! Usually olive gets wiped out very quickly!

  3. #3
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    the findings are "surprising" because they were expecting to find soils and minerals that indicated the former presesnce of water? To me these finding sound sad because they don't suggest that water might have ever filled that crator, right? But it is just a first look...

  4. #4
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    The rocks on the crater floor could have been ice rafted, and may represent rocks from the crater wall. They would have been consentrated on the crater floor if wind removed the finer grained lake sediments after the lake dried up.

  5. #5
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    Or they could have drifted in from other parts of Mars on the wind. That's why Spirit is looking a rock next. It's unlikely a rock drifted from across the planet.

  6. #6
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    The rock may be representative of the nearby crater wall and not representative of the rock materials underlying the surficial rocks and soil.

  7. #7
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    One of the things they are going to have to do, is to conduct some core sampling, to get a lithological cross section of the geology in the crater. JESMSK - could you elaborate further on:

    The rocks on the crater floor could have been ice rafted, and may represent rocks from the crater wall. They would have been consentrated on the crater floor if wind removed the finer grained lake sediments after the lake dried up.
    please?

  8. #8
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    I don't know how deep the rover can excavate or if it has a core drilling capability. If they regain control of Spirit, I think the best chance of looking at the subsoil would be to move the rover into one of the small impact creaters where the impact may have removed the surficial material. Here, a shallow excavation might expose the lake sediments if they exist.
    Jack

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