Mars Rover Approaching Giant Crater

MacSA

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Original poster
Jun 4, 2003
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Full text: http://athena.cornell.edu/news/mubss/

Update from Steve Squyres (Principal Investigator)

We seem to have cleared an important hurdle. Sol 944, which was yesterday Earth time, was "Boot Day" for Opportunity... the day we rebooted the rover computer with brand new flight software. The rover woke up that afternoon with the new software running, and sent us data right on schedule. We're still going through the data, but so far everything looks good. We're also going through the same process for Spirit on more or less the same timescale.

Anyway, once we've got this initial few sols of software checkout behind us, we know where we're going! As of right now, we are just about 50 meters away from the rim of Victoria Crater. The latest images show the upper part of the far wall in some detail for the first time. The topography there is substantial, to say the least... the images show near-vertical cliffs that are roughly 15 meters high, and that's just the upper lip. There's a lot more crater below that that we can't see yet.

Pic: http://207.7.139.5/mars/opportunity/navcam/2006-09-19/1N211904063EFF7600P1968L0M1.JPG

The features on the wall of the far rim are about half a mile away and this was taken with a camera (navcam) that has equivelant field of view to a 36mm lens.

Here is Victoria Crater, the rover is about 50m from the rim now. Things are going to get pretty interesting soon:D :

 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
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Jan 20, 2005
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Do the rovers have the Roomba-like edge sensors to keep them from falling off of cliffs or crater rims? :cool:

Very cool...I'm continually amazed with the progress these little rovers are making. They're starting to show their age, but we've gotten more data out of them than just about anybody had hoped for...everything else has been gravy, and we're drowning in it there's so much to go around.
 

noelister

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2005
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MacFan782040 said:
Wow, I can't believe these little guys are still going.
I am thinking the same. It is amazing how much information has been gathered by these little guys.
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
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Cork, Ireland.
MacSA said:
It just never stops messing with my head that these photos aren't just shots of a desert somewhere in the Middle East, but from another planet. I keep expecting to see tourists in the background posing at the edge of the crater!
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
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whooleytoo said:
It just never stops messing with my head that these photos aren't just shots of a desert somewhere in the Middle East, but from another planet. I keep expecting to see tourists in the background posing at the edge of the crater!
Same here. I found myself looking for tire tracks or footprints. :D The shots are incredible.
 

Flynnstone

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2003
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Cold beer land
A question :
The crater seems to have a flat lip. It seems more like a depression than a crater. The moon craters have a raised lip.
Why doesn't this have a raised lip?

I guess that's the problem with science, it gives you more questions than answers.
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
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Incredible images. :eek:

Why is MacSA banned? :confused: Have the martians found him/her?! :p
 

Dalriada

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Aug 26, 2004
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Moorlough Shore
Me too... was a keen follower of MacSA thread and so find unbelievable that he seems to be banned... hope it's some hic on the v.Bulletin soft and nothing else :confused:

- Dal