APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

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APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby APOD Robot » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:06 am

Image Opportunity Rover Spots Greeley Haven on Mars

Explanation: Where on Mars should you spend the winter? As winter approached in the southern hemisphere of Mars last November, the Opportunity rover had just this problem -- it needed a place to go. The reduced amount of sunlight impacting Opportunity's solar panels combined with the extra power needed to keep equipment warm could drain Opportunity's batteries. Therefore Opportunity was instructed to climb onto the 15 degree incline of Greeley's Haven, shown as the rocky slope ahead. The incline increased power input as Opportunity's solar panels now have greater exposure to sunlight, while also giving the rolling robot some interesting landscape to explore. Visible in the distance, beyond Greeley Haven, lies expansive Endeavour Crater, the ancient impact basin that Opportunity will continue exploring as the Martian winter concludes in a few months, if it survives.

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Re: APOD: Opportunity Rover Spots Greeley on... (2012 Jan 25

Postby Beyond » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:47 am

The 'keep equipment warm' link is just about purrfect.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Rover Spots Greeley on... (2012 Jan 25

Postby islader2 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:48 am

Let me get this straight==Crater Endeavour is named after a British bark and NOT after NASA Endeavour shuttle? Say it ain't so, Joe. :roll:
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Rover Spots Greeley on... (2012 Jan 25

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:00 am

islade2 wrote:Let me get this straight==Crater Endeavour is named after a British bark and NOT after NASA Endeavour shuttle? Say it ain't so, Joe. :roll:

Both the crater and the shuttle are named after Cook's ship (which is why they are misspelled <g>).
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby StarBaby » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:07 am

Nice its 2012 guys how about some color pics on the next rover. Also include a brushing system that can brush off those solar panels. :) awesome picture...
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:29 am

StarBaby wrote:Nice its 2012 guys how about some color pics on the next rover. Also include a brushing system that can brush off those solar panels.

The next rover is Curiosity, and it's powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. No solar panels, nothing to brush off.

Curiosity does use color sensors on its cameras. It will provide somewhat inferior images to the current rovers because of this, especially for purposes of material analysis. This was a compromise- in part because I think imaging is less important, and in part because there are other instruments to take up some tasks currently allocated to the camera. Fortunately, the Bayer matrix filters are very leaky in IR, so longer wavelength images can be made without the IR cut filter, yielding higher resolution B&W images as well.

The use of color sensors allows color data to be collected at near video rates... and interesting feature, although I'm not sure how this will be used in practice.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby fatcitymax » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:01 am

Curiosity is a $2.5 billion boondoggle that proves NASA ought to be shutdown. NASA is desperate to stoke public interest in a manned mission to Mars, but no one cares. It's all just white-collar welfare for an agency that has had no real purpose since the last moon landing in the '70s. The money should be instead used for disease research, such as a cure for cancer. NASA engineers and scientists can be employed to make better toasters and clothes washers.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby J L Spooner » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:15 am

Anyone who sees this image might be forgiven for thinking that the white substance is snow - obviously not, on Mars - but what is it :?:
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby rstevenson » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:15 pm

Click the Greeley Haven link (in the description.) You'll go to a page which has both "real" colour and false colour images on it. In those images you can see that the "snow" is just fine pale sand.

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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:42 pm

Looks like a ground squirrel poking his head out of the white stuff! :mrgreen: Kitty is keeping pretty warm 8-) :D
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:08 pm

fatcitymax wrote:Curiosity is a $2.5 billion boondoggle that proves NASA ought to be shutdown. NASA is desperate to stoke public interest in a manned mission to Mars, but no one cares. It's all just white-collar welfare for an agency that has had no real purpose since the last moon landing in the '70s. The money should be instead used for disease research, such as a cure for cancer. NASA engineers and scientists can be employed to make better toasters and clothes washers.

In fact, quite a lot of people "care" about exploration of our Solar System. No planetary mission has been mounted that didn't return a wealth of new information- much of it applicable to our understanding of the Earth as well. And of course, the money invested in these programs isn't thrown away, but is spent developing new technology, and helps the economy both directly and indirectly.

It's a mistake to think that you can't invest in space exploration without also investing in other areas of research. And realistically, if we were not spending this money on Mars, I doubt very much we'd be spending it on disease research. That's not really how scientific budgeting, or budgeting in general, works in this country.
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Opportunity's Eighth Anniversary View From 'Greeley Haven'

Postby bystander » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:41 pm

Opportunity's Eighth Anniversary View From 'Greeley Haven'
NASA Image of the Day | 2012 Jan 25
This mosaic of images taken in mid-January 2012 shows the windswept vista northward (left) to northeastward (right) from the location where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending its fifth Martian winter, an outcrop informally named "Greeley Haven."

Opportunity's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) took the component images as part of full-circle view being assembled from Greeley Haven.

The view includes sand ripples and other wind-sculpted features in the foreground and mid-field. The northern edge of the the "Cape York" segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater forms an arc across the upper half of the scene.

Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time and EST (Jan. 24, PST). It has driven 21.4 miles (34.4 kilometers) as of its eighth anniversary on the planet. In late 2011, the rover team drove Opportunity up onto Greeley Haven to take advantage of the outcrop's sun-facing slope to boost output from the rover's dusty solar panels during the Martian winter.

Research activities while at Greeley Haven include a radio-science investigation of the interior of Mars, inspections of mineral compositions and textures on the outcrop, and monitoring of wind-caused changes on scales from dunes to individual soil particles.

The image combines exposures taken through Pancam filters centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). The view is presented in false color to make some differences between materials easier to see.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Durable NASA Rover Beginning Ninth Year of Mars Work
NASA JPL-Caltech | Mars Exploration Rovers | 2012 Jan 24
Eight years after landing on Mars for what was planned as a three-month mission, NASA's enduring Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is working on what essentially became a new mission five months ago.

Opportunity reached a multi-year driving destination, Endeavour Crater, in August 2011. At Endeavour's rim, it has gained access to geological deposits from an earlier period of Martian history than anything it examined during its first seven years. It also has begun an investigation of the planet's deep interior that takes advantage of staying in one place for the Martian winter.

Opportunity landed in Eagle Crater on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time and EST (Jan. 24, PST), three weeks after its rover twin, Spirit, landed halfway around the planet. In backyard-size Eagle Crater, Opportunity found evidence of an ancient wet environment. The mission met all its goals within the originally planned span of three months. During most of the next four years, it explored successively larger and deeper craters, adding evidence about wet and dry periods from the same era as the Eagle Crater deposits.

In mid-2008, researchers drove Opportunity out of Victoria Crater, half a mile (800 meters) in diameter, and set course for Endeavour Crater, 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

"Endeavour is a window further into Mars' past," said Mars Exploration Rover Program Manager John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The trek took three years. In a push to finish it, Opportunity drove farther during its eighth year on Mars -- 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers) -- than in any prior year, bringing its total driving distance to 21.4 miles (34.4 kilometers).

The "Cape York" segment of Endeavour's rim, where Opportunity has been working since August 2011, has already validated the choice of Endeavour as a long-term goal. "It's like starting a new mission, and we hit pay dirt right out of the gate," Callas said.

The first outcrop that Opportunity examined on Cape York differs from any the rover had seen previously. Its high zinc content suggests effects of water. Weeks later, at the edge of Cape York, a bright mineral vein identified as hydrated calcium sulfate provided what the mission's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., calls "the clearest evidence for liquid water on Mars that we have found in our eight years on the planet."

Mars years last nearly twice as long as Earth years. Entering its ninth Earth year on Mars, Opportunity is also heading into its fifth Martian winter. Its solar panels have accumulated so much dust since Martian winds last cleaned them -- more than in previous winters -- the rover needs to stay on a sun-facing slope to have enough energy to keep active through the winter.

The rover team has not had to use this strategy with Opportunity in past winters, though it did so with Spirit, farther from the equator, for the three Martian winters that Spirit survived. By the beginning of the rovers' fourth Martian winter, drive motors in two of Spirit's six wheels had ceased working, long past their design lifespan. The impaired mobility kept the rover from maneuvering to an energy-favorable slope. Spirit stopped communicating in March 2010.

All six of Opportunity's wheels are still useful for driving, but the rover will stay on an outcrop called "Greeley Haven" until mid-2012 to take advantage of the outcrop's favorable slope and targets of scientific interest during the Martian winter. After the winter, or earlier if wind cleans dust off the solar panels, researchers plan to drive Opportunity in search of clay minerals that a Mars orbiter's observations indicate lie on Endeavour's rim.

"The top priority at Greeley Haven is the radio-science campaign to provide information about Mars' interior," said JPL's Diana Blaney, deputy project scientist for the mission. This study uses weeks of tracking radio signals from the stationary rover to measure wobble in the planet's rotation. The amount of wobble is an indicator of whether the core of the planet is molten, similar to the way spinning an egg can be used to determine whether it is raw or hard-boiled.

Other research at Greeley Haven includes long-term data gathering to investigate mineral ingredients of the outcrop with spectrometers on Opportunity's arm, and repeated observations to monitor wind-caused changes at various scales.

The Moessbauer spectrometer, which identifies iron-containing minerals, uses radiation from cobalt-57 in the instrument to elicit a response from molecules in the rock. The half-life of cobalt-57 is only about nine months, so this source has diminished greatly. A measurement that could have been made in less than an hour during the rover's first year now requires weeks of holding the spectrometer on the target.

Observations for the campaign to monitor wind-caused changes range in scale from dunes in the distance to individual grains seen with the rover's microscopic imager. "Wind is the most active process on Mars today," Blaney said. "It is harder to watch for changes when the rover is driving every day. We are taking advantage of staying at one place for a while."
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby eltodesukane » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:19 pm

fatcitymax wrote:Curiosity is a $2.5 billion boondoggle that proves NASA ought to be shutdown. NASA is desperate to stoke public interest in a manned mission to Mars, but no one cares. It's all just white-collar welfare for an agency that has had no real purpose since the last moon landing in the '70s. The money should be instead used for disease research, such as a cure for cancer. NASA engineers and scientists can be employed to make better toasters and clothes washers.

I must say I would rather have a (much needed) subway line in my area than another rover on Mars.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby bystander » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:31 pm

eltodesukane wrote:I must say I would rather have a (much needed) subway line in my area than another rover on Mars.

And you think NASA and the US taxpayers should build one in Canada?
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:34 pm

eltodesukane wrote:I must say I would rather have a (much needed) subway line in my area than another rover on Mars.

I'd rather have another rover on Mars than a subway in your area!

(Seriously, there's no chance that money which doesn't go to NASA would ever be used to build a subway line.)
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby BPCooper » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:49 pm

Surprised there is no mention in the APOD caption about this being the eighth anniversary of its landing...
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby geckzilla » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:54 pm

Are we really going to argue about the relatively insignificant amount of money that NASA's amazing projects take again? If $2.5 billion dollars could cure any disease it would have been done a long time ago. For that matter, why don't you take that $2.5 billion from the $21 billion Harry Potter franchise? Or the $5.6 billion NCAA budget? Why should we have movies, books, or basketball when someone out there has cancer or needs a subway line? :roll:

My challenge to you: Spot the entire US federal space budget on this chart. It's a needle in a very large haystack. Hint: It's in the billions section.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby eltodesukane » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:05 pm

bystander wrote:
eltodesukane wrote:I must say I would rather have a (much needed) subway line in my area than another rover on Mars.

And you think NASA and the US taxpayers should build one in Canada?

I live in Iselin, NJ
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby geckzilla » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:11 pm

Perhaps just visiting Canada, then. (Gotta get out and go to a place that allows left turns sometime)
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby neufer » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:00 pm

StarBaby wrote:
Nice its 2012 guys how about... a brushing system that can brush off those solar panels.

Chris Peterson wrote:
The next rover is Curiosity, and it's powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. No solar panels, nothing to brush off.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby saturn2 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:36 am

The Opportunity Rovers is a robot very interesting.
The mission was of 3 months.
Today it has many years working on surface of Mars,
A work very good !!
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Opportunity Spots Gre(ele)y Havens

Postby neufer » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:44 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby Beyond » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:36 am

My comment--> As Jo Anne Worley from laugh-in would say...... B-o-r-e-i-n-g :!: She didn't have the smilie exclamation mark like i do)
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby islader2 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:59 am

@ CHRIS P. Thanks for being there to defend so eloquently or miniscule expenditure on Mars recon. I would not be able to respond on this site that does not allow cuss words on a blog populated by solons such as you and me {"me" self-declared as opposed to you or Ann who are the real thing and make one turn to these postings without fail}.
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Re: APOD: Opportunity Spots Greeley Haven ... (2012 Jan 25)

Postby neptunium » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:18 am

Has Opportunity been through any dust storms l
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