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Blog Archive

 

Opportunity's highway, and a tour of Block Island

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/15 12:35 CDT

Just a cool image to start the morning: after a 70-meter drive yesterday, Opportunity's following not one but two sets of its own tracks.

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New HiRISE image of Spirit at Home Plate

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/03 01:43 CDT

There's a lovely new color HiRISE image of Spirit at Home Plate. It was captured on July 16 (sol 1,968), and Spirit is firmly entrenched at Troy, on the western side of Home Plate.

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Dust storm update: Skies clearing for Spirit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/09/02 12:25 CDT

For a while, Mars was beating Spirit while she was down, throwing a dust storm at the rover where it's bogged up to its hubcaps in fluffy soil When lots of dust is lofted into the sky, the hazard is that when it comes down, it may come down on the rover and its solar panels. But it appears things on Spirit are still pretty clean.

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Happy 3rd anniversary of the Spirit landing!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/26 02:03 CDT

"Third anniversary?" some of you may be asking. "Hasn't it been more like five years since Spirit landed?" Five Earth years, yes. But today is the third anniversary of the landing, measured in Mars years.

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A sunset into the dust

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/24 12:37 CDT

While Spirit has been stuck at Troy, it's been taking numerous opportunities to capture photos with dramatic twilight lighting. On sol 2,002 (three sols ago, or August 21), it gazed toward the setting Sun, snapping the shutter roughly once a minute.

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New image of Opportunity on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/14 11:06 CDT

I really can't explain why it didn't occur to me to search for the rover in the image of Victoria crater released by the HiRISE team on Wednesday.

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Mars eye candy: New oblique view of Victoria crater

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/12 12:59 CDT

Today the HiRISE team released a lovely new view of Victoria crater, taken nearly a year after the Opportunity rover departed it.

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Exciting Times Ahead: 2010 Will Sizzle, and 2011 Will Really Cook!

Posted by Alan Stern on 2009/05/18 03:56 CDT

Today, I'm kicking the week off with a look at the unusually intense confluence of far flung planetary exploration that's just around the corner, starting the middle of next year.

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Spirit Stuck

Posted by Mark Adler on 2009/05/12 12:39 CDT

The Spirit rover on Mars is currently stuck in a patch of loose material. After a few attempts to get free, the team has wisely decided to do further experiments on Earth instead of on Mars.

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Spirit hiccup

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/04/13 05:57 CDT

Another of those dreaded "status reports" from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory arrived in my mailbox just now.

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Spirit puts the pedal to the metal

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/03/24 10:15 CDT

Way to go, Spirit! The last two drives for the five-wheeled rover have taken it a total of about 40 meters west, traveling around the north edge of Home Plate. If I'm not mistaken, that's more than Spirit has driven in the last 400 sols combined.

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Planetary Surface Processes Field Trip: Day 6
Grand Falls and Sand Dunes

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2009/03/20 04:35 CDT

Today we visited Grand Falls and the nearby dune field. Grand Falls is especially interesting because it combines many of the processes that are active in shaping planetary surfaces.

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What are the rovers up to?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/03/05 02:15 CST

As usual, troubled Spirit's progress sometimes amounts to only centimeters, while golden child Opportunity has already clocked four kilometers on its trek toward Endeavour.

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Spirit update: It keeps going

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/02/04 11:04 CST

There have been a couple more releases from JPL in recent days updating the slightly worrisome announcement about Spirit that came out on January 28.

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New Google Mars

Posted by Ryan Anderson on 2009/02/03 03:35 CST

Google Earth's latest edition was just released and guess what? It has a Mars setting!

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Spirit's not behaving normally -- sometimes

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/28 03:13 CST

Rather than try to interpret what's going on, I'm just going to repost in full a "rover mission status report" (always an ominous subject heading) I just received from the JPL media relations office. I'll post updates when any are available.

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365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Five Years of Living Vicariously on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/24 10:33 CST

Next in The Planetary Society's 365 Days of Astronomy doubleheader is Planetary Society President Jim Bell, whose show, airing today, is on "Five Years of Living Vicariously on Mars."

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What are the rovers up to?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/21 06:48 CST

Spirit's been getting some nice views of the spot it spent all of 2008 in, "Home Plate north." Meanwhile, Opportunity is motoring along.

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Some events for the 5th anniversary of Spirit and Opportunity's landing on Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/14 05:49 CST

Tonight at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, Jim Bell and Bill Nye will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the landing of the rovers; Jim will be showing lots of pretty 3D pictures.

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The Santorini panorama

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/08 11:48 CST

A tip of the hat to Ryan over at Martian Chronicles for posting this lovely version of the Santorini panorama, which Opportunity captured just before Mars dipped too close to the Sun in late November of last year.

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