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Mars-Chroniken - 10 Jahre MARS-ROVER - Mars-Rover Opportunity Sol 086-100 Rückblick

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Ten years after landing on Mars, Spirit rover's legacy lives on

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It's been 10 years since NASA's Spirit rover landed on Mars, kicking off a decade of continuous robotic operations on the Red Planet's surface. And even though Spirit gave up the ghost three years ago, the hardy machine still serves as an inspiration.

Cushioned by airbags, the six-wheeled, golf-cart-sized rover settled in Gusev Crater at 11:35 p.m. ET on Jan. 3, 2004. Among the millions who followed the landing coverage was Bekah Sosland, a 14-year-old eighth-grader in Fredericksburg, Texas. A TV animation that aired in her classroom showed the unorthodox landing procedure that was used by Spirit — and by its twin rover, Opportunity, which touched down three weeks later. 

"I remember I was talking with friends, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed this thing bouncing and rolling on a red surface," Sosland said in a NASA online retrospective published Friday. "I watched as it stopped and opened up, and it had this rover inside."

The sight amazed her. "Gears started turning in my head that day about engineering and space — thinking about a career," she said.

Sosland eventually earned an engineering degree from the University of Texas, and this summer, she became part of the Opportunity rover's mission planning team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "I'm loving that I can be a part of this team now," she said.

Others at NASA are loving it as well. Spirit and Opportunity — known as the Mars Exploration Rovers, or MERs — were designed for primary missions lasting just 90 days. But Spirit kept plugging along until 2009, when it became mired in a Martian sand trap. It fell silent a year later. Its odometer read 4.8 miles, or 7.7 kilometers.

Opportunity has been even more of an overachiever. It's still going strong on the other side of the planet, in a region known as Meridiani Planum, with 24 miles (38.7 kilometers) of driving under its belt.

Both rovers found ample evidence that Mars was once much warmer and wetter than it is today. Spirit's biggest finds were deposits of pure silica that suggested hydrothermal vents were once active on Mars. The MER missions set the stage for even more high-powered observations by NASA's car-sized Curiosity rover, which landed in a different patch of Martian terrain last year.

Quelle: NBC

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21.11.2013

Rückblicke zu Mars-Rover Opportunity gibt es unter Mars-Chroniken -  Mars-Rover Opportunity Sol 001-100 Rückblick in mehreren Teilen, welche auch fortgesetzt wird

 

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Left Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Sub-frame EDR acquired on Sol 91 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 13:41:56 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 92 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 15:21:10 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 1 (436 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 93 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:27:25 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 1 (436 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 93 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 10:43:08 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 1 (436 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Right Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 93 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:26:20 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Left Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 93 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:23:40 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 94 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:51:23 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 2 (753 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 94 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:45:55 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 6 (934 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 94 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 17:47:07 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL
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Right Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 94 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:37:11 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL
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Left Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 95 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:34:48 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Right Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 95 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:31:46 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 14:44:05 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 6 (934 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 14:40:32 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 6 (482 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 14:14:32 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 2 (754 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 14:07:11 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 6 (482 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:19:45 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (1009 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:25:06 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 1 (436 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Left Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 96 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:59:20 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 97 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 15:19:09 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 2 (753 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Right Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 97 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 13:56:15 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (1009 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 97 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 13:44:53 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 5 (535 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Left Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Downsampled EDR acquired on Sol 97 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:35:21 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 98 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 13:35:04 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (432 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 98 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 13:34:05 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (432 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 99 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:54:22 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (432 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 99 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 11:53:04 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (432 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Left Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Downsampled EDR acquired on Sol 99 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 16:45:18 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL
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Microscopic Imager Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 100 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately at approximately 11:57:27 Mars local solar time, Microscopic Imager dust cover commanded to be OPEN. NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS 
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Left Panoramic Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 100 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:33:34 Mars local solar time, camera commanded to use Filter 7 (432 nm). NASA/JPL/Cornell 
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Left Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 100 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:37:09 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Left Navigation Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 100 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 10:37:32 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL 
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Right Front Hazard Camera Non-linearized Full frame EDR acquired on Sol 100 of Opportunity's mission to Meridiani Planum at approximately 12:55:17 Mars local solar time. NASA/JPL
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Fotos: NASA
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