Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
I thought this was a fun image to kick off the weekend. This isn't the first happy-looking crater to be photographed from Mars, but I really like this one; it's more goofy.
The story of a Sasquatch-shaped rock visible in a recent panorama from Spirit is getting a lot of play in the mainstream media, but fortunately, it's not being taken very seriously. (My favorite take on this picture is the lead from the Times Online story about it:
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.
It hasn't been that long since the Mars Science Laboratory landing site downselection meeting; it was quickly followed by a meeting in Europe on ExoMars, which is currently planned for a 2011 launch.
A couple of days ago Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) issued a news notice that explains some of the horse-trading that went on behind the scenes to rescue MARDI, the descent imaging camera that they are building for the Mars Science Laboratory rover.
After three days of presentations, voting, and extended discussions, the
Unlike the Mars Exploration Rover mission, which featured two golf-cart-sized landers, this time we have only one giant, Volkswagen beetle-size. So at the end of this process we have to pick our favorite place on Mars, not our favorite two places.
The latest on MSL landing sites, a look at comet outbursts, and links to other stuff.
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.
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.
I just received another batch of
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.
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'
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.
Over the weekend I fiddled with the
The dust storm continues at Mars, but both rovers continue to be power-positive.
Both Spirit and Opportunity are still suffering under incredibly dark skies, but, amazingly, they are both
Opportunity has ceased operations for a couple of days because the amount of sunlight available is low due to an unpredicted dust storm.
There was great news last night from Mars Exploration Rover mission operations: Spirit seems to have enjoyed another
Today, New Scientist and researcher Ron Levin retracted the