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Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before 

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:42 AM
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Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Months after the death of the Mars rover Spirit, its surviving twin has reached the rim of a vast crater to begin its final and most important exploration.
Opportunity will now examine rocks older than any it has seen in its seven years on the surface of the red planet, Nasa scientists said last night.
The solar-powered, six-wheel rover arrived at the 14mile-wide Endeavour crater after driving 13miles from a smaller crater named Victoria.

Final destination: After trundling across Mars for three years, Opportunity images a portion of the west rim of Endeavour crater where it arrived late on Tuesday, scientists said last night:
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The rover will now examine rocks older than any it has seen in its seven years on the surface of the red planet:
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Opportunity and its twin Spirit landed on opposite sides of Mars in 2004 and used their instruments to discover geologic evidence that the cold, dusty planet was once wet:
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The journey, which took nearly three years culminated on Tuesday when Opportunity signalled it had arrived at the location dubbed Spirit Point in honour of the rover's twin, which fell silent last year.
'We're there,' said project manager John Callas of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Opportunity and Spirit landed on opposite sides of Mars in 2004 and used their instruments to discover geologic evidence that the cold and dusty planet was once wet.
Craters can provide windows into the planet's past because layers of material from long-ago eras are exposed.

The journey, which took nearly three years culminated on Tuesday when Opportunity signalled it had arrived at the location dubbed Spirit Point in honour of the rover's twin, which fell silent last year:
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Mr Callas said the plan is to drive a bit closer to the rim to take pictures of the oldest rocks seen by Opportunity.
He said: 'This is a brand new mission.'
Since landing, Opportunity has studied sulphate sediments that pointed to an environment that was once wetter and warmer.
'Now we have rocks that pre-date that,' Mr Callas said.
The rover's work is part of Nasa's Mars Exploration Program strategy known as 'follow the water', which looks for evidence that liquid water once existed or perhaps still exists on the planet.
Liquid water is considered essential for the potential for some form of life to have developed.

Almost there: Opportunity used its panoramic camera to capture this view of a portion of Endeavour crater's rim last week after a drive during the rover's 2,676th day of working on Mars:
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Last week, research based on observations by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter theorised that dark, finger-like features that appear in spring and summer on some Martian slopes then fade in winter could be flows of briny water. Saltiness would be necessary to lower the freezing temperature of water.
A big, new Nasa rover named Curiosity is awaiting launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a $2.5billion mission to explore a towering mountain inside a 96mile-wide crater to determine if there were once conditions capable of supporting microbial life.
Curiosity, powered by a radioisotope instead of sunlight, is expected to land on Mars in August 2012.

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Old 08-12-2011, 09:43 AM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Click the pictures to see them at their best

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Old 08-12-2011, 11:58 AM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Great thread, Kel!!


But I was there first!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:18 PM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Gorgeous! Looks like a volcanic desert!

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Old 08-12-2011, 01:59 PM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Awesome

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Old 08-12-2011, 06:21 PM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

cool

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Old 08-13-2011, 09:26 AM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

Quote:
A big, new Nasa rover named Curiosity is awaiting launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a $2.5billion mission to explore a towering mountain inside a 96mile-wide crater to determine if there were once conditions capable of supporting microbial life.
didn't know that. cool.

Amazing it's still driving around there after all those years in that harsh environment.

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Old 08-13-2011, 09:56 AM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

cool

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Old 08-13-2011, 11:41 PM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

good stuff, mars has always been fascinating. would be cool to send some people here

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Old 08-14-2011, 09:49 AM
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Re: Mars.... As We've Never Seen It Before

duuuuuuuuuuuude how cool is that? how we know that its not photoshoped?

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