OTD in Space – January 25: Opportunity Rover Lands on Mars
On January 25, 2004, NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars! This was the second of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers to land on the red planet. Its counterpart, the Spirit rover, arrived just three weeks earlier. Opportunity is now the longest-running Mars rover mission. It was only intended to last 90 days, but the rover has been trekking around the Red Planet for more than 50 times its expected lifetime. Over the years, Opportunity has found meteorites on Mars, observed dust storms and looked for clues about the presence of water in Mars' ancient past.
NASA : Mars exploration rover Opportunity discovers ancient valley on the Red Planet | Oneindia News
Mars's rover Opportunity has beamed back image of an ancient valley that may have been carved by flowing water on the inner slope of a vast craters rim.
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NASA's Mars rover 'Opportunity' enters its teenage years on Red Planet – Watch
On January, 24, 2017 (Tuesday), NASA's Opportunity rover celebrated her 13 years on Mars, making it to become the first teenager on the Red Planet.
Six Ways Opportunity is like a Teenager
On January 24, 2017, the Opportunity rover celebrates her 13 years on Mars. On Earth, she's officially a teenager and has been behaving like one.
For more info on the mission and to see images Opportunity sent back from the surface of Mars, visit http://mars.nasa.gov/mer
The NASA Mars Fleet: Spacecraft, Landers and Rovers
A fleet of robotic spacecraft is exploring the Red Planet, sending back an ever-growing flood of data. While rovers like Curiosity blaze tracks through the fine Martian soil, orbiters like MAVEN and MRO circle high overhead, gazing down at the planet's atmosphere and surface and relaying ground-based data back to Earth. The Mars fleet is providing mission controllers at NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Indian Space Research Organisation with a remote presence on Mars.
This visualization shows the landing sites of NASA's past and present landers and rovers; the nearly circular orbits of NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; the elliptical orbits of NASA's MAVEN satellite and ESA's Mars Express; and the highly elliptical path of ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission. The orbits of Mars' two moons, Phobos and Deimos, are also depicted.
Learn more about the planet Mars at http://www.spacetv.net/mars/
Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
NASA presser on latest from Spirit and Opportunity rovers
1. Image of Mars surface from rover Opportunity, with animation zoom in
2. Wide shot of press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Jim Bell, NASA Opportunity Mission Imaging Expert:
"It's just a little snapshot, a postcard of our new home with Opportunity and following on this will be hopefully even more spectacular."
4. Pan of planet surface showing flattened spaces where the lander bounced
5. Wide shot of news conference
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Chris Jones, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Director of Flight Projects:
"The news of the rest of the payload is also very good. We did the first health checks yesterday of the microscopic imager, the alpha particle spectrometer and the Mossbauer spectrometer on Opportunity and I am pleased to report that all are in perfect health."
7. STILL of horizon at lip of crater
8. Wide shot of cameras
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jennifer Trosper, Spirit Mission Chief:
"Spirit is doing better. It's kind of like we have a patient in rehab (rehabilitation) here, and we are nursing her back to health."
10. Surface crust of Mars, with pullout to big picture
NASA's Opportunity rover sent its first colour "postcard" on Monday from the crater on Mars where it landed during the weekend, and engineers prepared to begin purging computer files on the spacecraft's hobbled twin to restore its
The new image from Opportunity shows the smooth, brick-red slopes of a shallow crater, broken up by a fragmented slab of bedrock that has excited scientists.
Opportunity began sending images to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory about four hours after it bounced to a landing late on Saturday on the opposite side of the Red Planet from its temporarily crippled twin, Spirit.
Bounce marks left by the rover's air bags when it landed were clearly visible. Mars at the time was 124 (m)million miles from Earth.
Opportunity plunged into the Martian atmosphere at more than 12,000 mph (19,311 km) and bounced down on Mars just six minutes later, swaddled in protective air bags.
It hit with a force estimated to be just two to three times that of Earth's gravity.
Engineers had designed it to withstand as much as 40 Gs, said Chris Jones, director of flight projects at JPL.
On Monday, NASA said Opportunity was in excellent health and Spirit was on the mend after a serious software problem that cut off what had been a steady flow of pictures and scientific data.
Opportunity landed in a crater roughly 20 yards across and rimmed with gentle slopes that shouldn't block the rolling robot
once it gets going, said Steve Squyres, the mission's main scientist.
Together, the twin rovers make up a $820 (m) million mission to seek out geologic evidence that Mars was once a wetter world possibly capable of sustaining life.
NASA launched Spirit on June 10 and Opportunity on July 7. Each carries nine cameras and six scientific instruments.
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The Curious Life of a Mars Rover | Nat Geo Live
Having helped design the Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, NASA engineer Kobie Boykins reveals what these robots are telling us about the existence of life on the red planet.
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The Curious Life of a Mars Rover | Nat Geo Live
Opportunity: 10 Years on Mars
A celebration commemorating a decade of Mars exploration by NASA's twin Mars Exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The rovers landed on opposite sides of Mars in January 2004 for what was expected to be 90-day missions. Spirit operated for six years and ceased communicating with Earth in 2010. The Opportunity rover continues exploring today, 10 years after landing.
This show includes:
-- Charles Elachi, director, JPL
-- Steve Squyres, principal investigator, Mars Exploration Rover mission, Cornell
-- John Callas, project manager, Mars Exploration Rover mission, JPL
-- Bill Nye, chief executive officer of the Planetary Society, Pasadena, Calif.
-- plus more rover team members
Follow the mission and the rovers on Twitter (@MarsRovers) and Facebook.
For additional information on Spirit and Opportunity and the 10 year anniversary on Mars, visit http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer10/
Opportunity: 10 Years on Mars - Science
Two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, landed on the Red Planet in January, 2004, on a 90-day mission. Spirit's mission lasted 2,269 days (over 6 years) and ended in 2010. Ten years after landing, the Opportunity rover continues to explore. The rover's science team explains how Opportunity traversed the Red Planet, examined the diverse environment and sent back data that transformed our understanding of Mars.
10 Years on Mars: How Spirit & Opportunity Affected Our Lives
Some of the team members from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project were still in college -- or even high school -- when the rovers landed in 2004. Hear their stories of becoming part of this remarkably long-lived and successful mission.
Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity landing on Mars
This illustration depicts how each of the twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in January, 2004, cushioned inside airbags that bounced several times before coming to rest. The rover and a three-petal landing platform were folded up inside the set of inflated bags for each landing.
NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Opportunity Launches: Tracker Camera View
Edited raw footage compilation of the launches of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Shot with HD cameras on a tracker at Kennedy Space Center. Master: DVCProHD. NASA Identifier: AVC-2003-175-1 Courtesy Video | NASA | Date: 07.21.2009
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Steve Squyres - Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet
In January of 2004, twin robotic explorers named Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars. Expected to last for 90 days, their mission has now gone on for more than eight years. Its objective is to search for evidence of past water on Mars, and to determine if Mars ever had conditions that would have been suitable for life. To develop Spirit and Opportunity, a team of more than 4,000 highly motivated engineers and scientists overcame a host of technical challenges. These challenges were multiplied by an extraordinarily tight schedule that was driven by the motions of the planets. This talk will provide an up-to-date summary of the missions of Spirit and Opportunity, from their initial conception through their development, launch, landing, and operations on the surface of Mars.
Steve W. Squyres is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His research area is in planetary sciences, with a focus on large solid bodies in the solar system such as the terrestrial planets and the moons of the Jovian planets. Squyres is principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER). He is the recipient of the 2004 Carl Sagan Memorial Award and the 2009 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Communication in Planetary Science. On October 28, 2010, Dr. Squyres received the 2010 Mines Medal for his achievements as a researcher and professor.
Squyres has participated in a number of planetary spaceflight missions. From 1978 to 1981 he was an associate of the Voyager imaging science team, participating in analysis of imaging data from the encounters with Jupiter and Saturn. He was a radar investigator on the Magellan mission to Venus, a member of the Mars Observer gamma-ray spectrometer flight investigation team, and a co-investigator on the Russian Mars '96 mission. He is a member of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission to Saturn and was a member of the gamma- ray X-ray spectrometer team on NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission.
Dr. Squyres' research focuses on the robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, the history of water on Mars, geophysics and tectonics of icy satellites, tectonics of Venus, planetary gamma- ray and x-ray spectroscopy. Research for which he is best known includes study of the history and distribution of water on Mars and of the possible existence and habitability of a liquid water ocean on Europa.
He received his B.A. in Geological Sciences and his Ph.D. in Astronomy (Planetary Studies) from Cornell University. The IMAX documentary film Roving Mars was based on Squyres' book Roving Mars : Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet.
Spirit and Opportunity: Roving Mars' Landscape
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2012/02/27/William_J_Clancey_Voyages_of_Scientific_Discovery
William J. Clancey, Chief Scientist of Human-Centered Computing at the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Center, talks about the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program. Adjusting to Mars' atmosphere, Clancey shares that the two teams controlling separate rovers even adopted Mars' time schedule.
For more than eight years, scientists have been doing fieldwork on Mars, the first overland investigation of another planet. Working through programmed robotic laboratories, called the Mars Exploration Rovers, they have a virtual experience of being on Mars. The Spirit and Opportunity teams have driven over 25 miles, taken thousands of photographs, analyzed the chemistry of the terrain, and inspected rocks by grinding them and taking microscopic images. How does working remotely through a robotic laboratory change the nature of field science? How does it change the scientists? A cognitive scientist with privileged access to mission operations, Clancey explains that the "robotic geologists" are not the rovers, but the scientists who have imaginatively projected themselves into the body of the machine.
Dr. William J. Clancey is Chief Scientist for Human-Centered Computing at NASA Ames Research Center, Computational Sciences Division, where he manages the Work Systems Design & Evaluation Group. He is on leave from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola.
SPIRIT & OPPORTUNITY - Mars Rovers UPDATE
The accomplishments of the Mars Rovers and where they are now. Before there was Curiosity.
Highlights from landing day of Mars rover Spirit
Scenes from around NASA on the day Spirit landed on Mars. Spirit, mission designation MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover - A), is the first of the two rovers of NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. It landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, Opportunity (MER-B), landed on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a NASA-sponsored student essay competition.
The rover completed its planned 90-sol mission. Aided by cleaning events that resulted in higher power from its solar panels, Spirit went on to function effectively over twenty times longer than NASA planners expected following mission completion. Spirit also logged about 10 kilometers of driving instead of the planned 1 km, allowing more extensive geological analysis of Martian rocks and planetary surface features. Initial scientific results from the first phase of the mission (the 90-sol prime mission) were published in a special issue of the journal Science.
Exploring Mars for Habitable Environments - David Des Marais (SETI Talks)
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Recent Mars missions have discovered fascinating landscapes as well as chemicals and minerals formed by the action of liquid water. Mars could have been habitable sometime in the past, and liquid water might persist in some subsurface environments today. Dr. Dave Des Marais, Chair of the Mars Exploration Program Advisory Group (MEPAG), will discuss recent discoveries that are helping to identify the most promising places to search for evidence of life.
CBSE Videos.com - Rover Landing in Mars
Rover Landing in Mars
Spirit & Opportunity: Six Years on Mars! [720p]
NASA's Mars rover Spirit marked six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration for the American public on January 3, 2010. However, the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.
Spirit successfully landed on the Red Planet at 8:35 p.m. PST on Jan. 3, 2004, and its twin Opportunity arrived at 9:05 p.m. Jan. 24, 2004. The rovers began missions intended to last for three months but which have lasted six Earth years, or 3.2 Mars years. During this time, Spirit has found evidence of a steamy and violent environment on ancient Mars that was quite different from the wet and acidic past documented by Opportunity, which has been operating successfully as it explores halfway around the planet.
A sand trap and balky wheels are challenges to Spirit's mobility that could prevent NASA's rover team from using a key survival strategy for the rover. The team may not be able to position the robot's solar panels to tilt toward the sun to collect power for heat to survive the severe Martian winter.
Nine months ago, Spirit's wheels broke through a crusty surface layer into loose sand hidden underneath. Efforts to escape this sand trap barely have budged the rover. The rover's inability to use all six wheels for driving has worsened the predicament. Spirit's right-front wheel quit working in 2006, and its right-rear wheel stalled a month ago. Surprisingly, the right-front wheel resumed working, though intermittently. Drives with four or five operating wheels have produced little progress toward escaping the sand trap. The latest attempts resulted in the rover sinking deeper in the soil.
"The highest priority for this mission right now is to stay mobile, if that's possible," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He is principal investigator for the rovers.
If mobility is not possible, the next priority is to improve the rover's tilt, while Spirit is able to generate enough electricity to turn its wheels. Spirit is in the southern hemisphere of Mars, where it is autumn, and the amount of daily sunshine available for the solar-powered rover is declining. This could result in ceasing extraction activities as early as January, depending on the amount of remaining power. Spirit's tilt, nearly five degrees toward the south, is unfavorable because the winter sun crosses low in the northern sky.
Unless the tilt can be improved or luck with winds affects the gradual buildup of dust on the solar panels, the amount of sunshine available will continue to decline until May 2010. During May, or perhaps earlier, Spirit may not have enough power to remain in operation.
"At the current rate of dust accumulation, solar arrays at zero tilt would provide barely enough energy to run the survival heaters through the Mars winter solstice," said Jennifer Herman, a rover power engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
The team is evaluating strategies for improving the tilt even if Spirit cannot escape the sand trap, such as trying to dig in deeper with the wheels on the north side. In February, NASA will assess Mars missions, including Spirit, for their potential science versus costs to determine how to distribute limited resources. Meanwhile, the team is planning additional research about what a stationary Spirit could accomplish as power wanes.
"Spirit could continue significant research right where it is," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, deputy principal investigator for the rovers. "We can study the interior of Mars, monitor the weather and continue examining the interesting deposits uncovered by Spirit's wheels."
A study of the planet's interior would use radio transmissions to measure wobble of the planet's axis of rotation, which is not feasible with a mobile rover. That experiment and others might provide more and different findings from a mission that has already far exceeded expectations.
"Long-term change in the spin direction could tell us about the diameter and density of the planet's core," said William Folkner of JPL. He has been developing plans for conducting this experiment with a future, stationary Mars lander. "Short-period changes could tell us whether the core is liquid or solid," he said.
In 2004, Opportunity discovered the first mineralogical evidence that Mars had liquid water. The rover recently finished a two-year investigation of a half-mile wide crater called Victoria and now is headed toward Endeavor crater, which is approximately seven miles from Victoria and nearly 14 miles across. Since landing, Opportunity has driven more than 11 miles and returned more than 132,000 images.
A Tale of Two Rovers
The Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" were sent to Mars for what was planned to be a 90 day mission. 5 years later they are still roving the surface of Mars, making new discoveries almost every day. This video celebrates the extraordinary success of these "Intrepid Explorers".
Mars Rovers: Pathfinder, MER (Spirit and Opportunity), and MSL
Here are models of three different Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars rovers. The small one is Pathfinder, sent to Mars in 1996. The middle is a model of one of two rovers still working on mars, Spirit and Opportunity. And the largest is a model of the Mars Science Laboratory, a future mars rover which is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011 (originally scheduled for 2009), arriving on Mars in October 2010. JPL is located in Pasadena California, home of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade.
I'm a Unix Systems Administrator (and Linux fanatic) at JPL and was lucky enough to work on a project that helped map the landing area for the MER mission.
More at http://www.kevitivity.com
Mars Pathfinder: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/MPF/
Spirit and Opportunity (MER): http://marsrover.nasa.gov/home/
Mars Science Lab website: http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
Radar Astronomy at JPL (my group): http://gssr.jpl.nasa.gov/
Opportunity mission for mars - landing animation
This beautiful animation depicts the landing of Opportunity rover on mars, to the sound of the glorious Beethoven 9th symphony.
Mars Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity Part1
Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity