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Mars Rover Photo, What is This??

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posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 08:54 AM
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So, I am over on HuffingtonPost.com looking at a collection of Mars photographs compiled by professor Jim Bell in his new book "Postcards from Mars," and I see the below photograph and think... "what the heck is that?" Whatever it is, it looks man made but the provided description, quoted below, offers nothing.

So, does anyone know what this photo is exactly showing?


A Postcard from the Opportunity rover's Pancam taken on sols 58 to 60 (March 23-25, 2004) that we called the "Lion King" panorama, because it was acquired from a majestic outlook just outside the rim of 22-meter wide Eagle crater. - From "Postcards from Mars" by Jim Bell, Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University; Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University




Source (photo 10 in the slide show): www.huffingtonpost.com...




posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 08:58 AM
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Looks to possibly be the "air bags" that softened the rover's landing. Hard to tell though.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by Jason88
So, I am over on HuffingtonPost.com looking at a collection of Mars photographs compiled by professor Jim Bell in his new book "Postcards from Mars," and I see the below photograph and think... "what the heck is that?" Whatever it is, it looks man made but the provided description, quoted below, offers nothing.

So, does anyone know what this photo is exactly showing?


A Postcard from the Opportunity rover's Pancam taken on sols 58 to 60 (March 23-25, 2004) that we called the "Lion King" panorama, because it was acquired from a majestic outlook just outside the rim of 22-meter wide Eagle crater. - From "Postcards from Mars" by Jim Bell, Professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University; Photo credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University





Source (photo 10 in the slide show): www.huffingtonpost.com...


Its the lander



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:00 AM
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debris left from the landing and rover tracks.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:03 AM
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If you go forward about 3 frames on the Huffington site they say it's the discarded heat shield.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by Thoriumisbest
If you go forward about 3 frames on the Huffington site they say it's the discarded heat shield.


Ah, that clears it up.
Thanks everyone for the responses; ATS community at its best.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:10 AM
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OR... some nosey martian vehicle or nazi vehicle has snooped a look to see what has landed in their backyard and woken up Herr so and so...



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by ewokdisco
OR... some nosey martian vehicle or nazi vehicle has snooped a look to see what has landed in their backyard and woken up Herr so and so...


That would be a lot more fun.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 09:47 AM
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weather balloon ......



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 11:36 AM
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It's the lander that the "Opportunity" rover landed in. See this CGI video illustrating the mission to Mars:



At 0:40, the heat shield jettisoned and impacted downrange.
Airbags deploy at 0:55.
At 1:02 the braking rockets fire, then the lander is released. The parachute and aeroshell landed nearby.
Note that, in the animation, the airbags are grey, whereas the real airbags were white.
The rover drives off the lander at 1:30. This photograph shows the lander after opportunity drove off. Note the airbag imprints in the dirt where the lander rolled to a stop at the bottom of a small crater.

This next video shows the control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Unlike the manned missions near Earth, where the controllers have to be ready to act at a moment's notice, the JPL engineers don't work in "real time" because it takes several minutes for the radio signals - travelling at the speed of light - to get to Earth. They can only watch as the machine that they themselves designed and built runs its automated program. Each step, so much has to happen. Each action is an obstacle to overcome. Each person hopes and prays that their part of the vehicle works as planned. I'd love to have their job, but how'd you like to be the guy who screwed up? The tension is palpable...


edit on 6-12-2010 by Saint Exupery because: Clarification



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by Saint Exupery
 


Two excellent video's. loved watching them, thank you sir



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Saint Exupery
 


Great videos, very dramatic. Loved hearing Mozart in that context too. Thanks for sharing!



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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Pretty sure it's the Mellenium Falcon.



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 02:57 AM
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Yep, it's the remnants of the balloon cocoon. the Opportunity lander was encased in that.
It was released from a tether after the balloons inflated. the whole ting bounced until they scored an Eagle.
You can see in the back area of Eagle crater, where the rover visited those outcrops..Took close ups, and discovered the first "blueberries".
I remember that day so well. It was such an exciting and successful time. Seeing things at pretty much the same time the scientists were seeing them.

The only unfortunate part of Opportunity's landing area is that it is very homogeneous..
Some slight differences in terrain..But other than the occasional crater visit..It's Dunes and patio stones.

Spirit had a more varied location..More different examples of terrain. That could be what ended it's career earlier.
But I have been enjoying the sights of Mars all these years. More to some, I hope.
It would be great to have at least one of these rovers operating when the Mars Science Lab lands in 2012.



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 03:02 AM
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Are you sure it is not a Mech Warrior disguised as the balloon casing?

Anything is possible.



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by Thoriumisbest
If you go forward about 3 frames on the Huffington site they say it's the discarded heat shield.

Right -- but to be clear, the picture in the OP is of the lander itself. The picture you are talking is a picture of the heat shield and NOT the lander. The heat shield and lander were separated during descent.

There is a third large part, too -- the aeroshell, or "backshell" -- which could be seen to the right in the heat shield picture you mentioned.


edit on 12/7/2010 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by CanadianDream420
Pretty sure it's the Mellenium Falcon.

True -- but don't blame the Sandpeople.

Those tracks are side by side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide there numbers.



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 08:41 AM
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no one else see a cylon raider?



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Thanks for the clarification (it is the lander).
I actually saw the crashed Millennium Falcon as first glance too.

edit on 7-12-2010 by Jason88 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2010 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by spacedoubtThe only unfortunate part of Opportunity's landing area is that it is very homogeneous..Some slight differences in terrain..But other than the occasional crater visit..It's Dunes and patio stones.

Spirit had a more varied location..More different examples of terrain. That could be what ended it's career earlier.
But I have been enjoying the sights of Mars all these years. More to some, I hope.It would be great to have at least one of these rovers operating when the Mars Science Lab lands in 2012.


That's fascinating, I hadn't realized the two very different locations and possibly that impact on Spirit's lifespan. Thanks for the insight.



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