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Snapshots from Space

by Emily Lakdawalla

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Emily Lakdawalla

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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

A dusty start to Spirit's winter

Emily Lakdawalla • December 14, 2007

Dust from the sky has settled on both the rover deck and the surrounding landscape. The dust-covered solar cells will not be able to generate as much power as when they were clean. Unless a puff of wind dusts off the solar panels, Spirit may have difficulty surviving the approaching Martian winter.

Wheel tracks

Emily Lakdawalla • October 18, 2007

The Mars Exploration Rovers have left wheel tracks all over their landing sites, but for some reason this pair of wheel tracks, left in the sand ripple on the rim of Victoria crater and now viewed from below, tickled my fancy. Thanks to James Canvin for the lovely panorama.

Opportunity takes first gingerly steps into Victoria Crater

Doug Ellison • September 13, 2007

Mars Exploration Rover scientists, engineers and enthusiasts have been playing the waiting game for 10 weeks, watching the much-reported dust storm subside so that Opportunity could get back to doing what it does best - exploring craters.

Skies slowly lightening for Spirit and Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • September 07, 2007

I just received another batch of "tau" images from rover camera lead Jim Bell to add to my visualizations of the rovers' dark skies. These pictures provide a direct measurement of the opacity of the atmosphere between the rovers and the Sun.

Dust storm update: A rover's-eye-view

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2007

I haven't written an update on the dust storm at Mars recently for two reasons. For one, the rovers are out of immediate danger, so it wasn't as urgent. The other reason is that Jim Bell wanted Cornell to issue a press release with updated versions of the images and animations I've been putting together from the rovers' "tau" images.

Poised on the threshold of Victoria Crater

Emily Lakdawalla • August 29, 2007

Although Mars' atmosphere continues to be rather dusty, the storm has abated enough that both Mars Exploration Rovers have resumed a relatively normal level of activity. For Opportunity, that means a drive to the very edge of Victoria crater.

A little good news on the rovers

Emily Lakdawalla • August 08, 2007

The skies aren't quite as dark as they have been, for both Spirit and Opportunity. In fact, Spirit has enough power now to be doing a little work with its robotic arm.

"Concern Increasing" for Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • August 01, 2007

Yesterday evening the Mars Exploration Rover mission posted an update that states "increasing concern" for the continued health of Opportunity.

High tau for Spirit and Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 30, 2007

Over the weekend I fiddled with the "tau" images that Mars Exploration Rover Pancam lead Jim Bell gave me, and I produced a couple of different ways to visualize the darkness of the rovers' skies.

Dust storm update: rovers still OK

Emily Lakdawalla • July 27, 2007

The dust storm continues at Mars, but both rovers continue to be power-positive.

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