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Opportunity Runs the First Martian Marathon

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posted on Jul, 20 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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That rover is like the energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going. It's taken since 2004 for the rover to travel almost a marathon distance. They also never expected either of the rovers to last this long. Opportunity has had some luck along the way, and it seems she willl continue to strive forward in search of new discoveries. I wonder just how long it will continue to live on and survive the Martian winters?

science.nasa.gov...




July 18, 2012: With all the fanfare about Mars rover Curiosity landing on the Red Planet in August 2012, it’s easy to forget that there’s already a rover on Mars—an older, smaller cousin set to accomplish a feat unprecedented in the history of Solar System exploration.

Mars rover Opportunity is on track to complete the first extraterrestrial marathon.

A marathon is 26.2 miles. When Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004, NASA’s goal was to have the rover travel a meager 600 meters. However, no one knew what kind of “runner” Opportunity would turn out to be. As of July 2012, Opportunity has traveled almost 22 miles – only 4.2 miles short of a full marathon.



When the marathoner reached Endeavour Crater in August 2011, things got interesting.

"Endeavor is surrounded by fractured sedimentary rock, and the cracks are filled with gypsum. Gypsum forms when ground water comes up and fills cracks in the ground, depositing hydrated calcium sulfate. This is the best evidence we've ever found for liquid water on Mars."

The gypsum veins were likely formed in conditions more pH-neutral and possibly more hospitable to life: Jackpot!

But this marathoner isn't done. Opportunity is doing so well that 26.2 miles might not be the finish line after all.

"We have no plans to stop running," says Arvidson.

Extraterrestrial ultra-marathon anyone?




posted on Jul, 20 2012 @ 12:18 PM
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We spent all that money to go 600 meters? Wtf? They coulda sent telephoto lenses haha. 22 miles is pretty cool though. Dang. As cold as mars is how come the solar panels dont become permanently damaged? Conspiracy?

If mars is really so cold can we just put some factories up there? Should heat it up in no time........haahaha

Remember the picture of the supposed forest? If theres liquid water on mars, which everything seems to point to, even if not much, and since it gets up to 80 degrees according to nasa.....then why the hell is it so difficult to think thosw might be trees?

We all know about the creosote bushes in the deserts in the us, right?

And if theres trees, whats it take to terraform a planet? Hmm



posted on Jul, 20 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by phroziac
As cold as mars is how come the solar panels dont become permanently damaged?

Mars is not that cold, the Earth has many places colder than Mars on the places where the rovers are (they are close to the equator)

Conspiracy?

No.



Remember the picture of the supposed forest?

It only looked like a forest to some people and on the worst photos, better photos show no forests on those places, as expected.


If theres liquid water on mars, which everything seems to point to, even if not much, and since it gets up to 80 degrees according to nasa.....then why the hell is it so difficult to think thosw might be trees?

Because there isn't (at least as far as I know) any liquid water, but everything points to having existed in the past.

And it's difficult to think of those things as trees because they do not really look like trees when we look at them without wishful thinking glasses.



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 





Because there isn't (at least as far as I know) any liquid water, but everything points to having existed in the past.


Hi ArMaP
There are indications that liquid salty water does flow on Mars at certain times of the year , its believed that the water is about as salty as that of Earth's oceans .

"These dark lineations are different from other types of features on Martian slopes," said Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist Richard Zurek of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Repeated observations show they extend ever farther downhill with time during the warm season."




These results are the closest scientists have come to finding evidence of liquid water on the planet's surface today. Frozen water, however has been detected near the surface in many middle to high-latitude regions. Fresh-looking gullies suggest slope movements in geologically recent times, perhaps aided by water. Purported droplets of brine also appeared on struts of the Phoenix Mars Lander. If further study of the recurring dark flows supports evidence of brines, these could be the first known Martian locations with liquid water.
www.nasa.gov...


More images of possible water flows


edit on 22-7-2012 by gortex because: Edit to add



posted on Jul, 22 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by gortex
 


As far as I know that's only indications of some liquid, as it was never really identified as water.

Sure, water is the most likely, but as it happens at certain times of the year it may even be some side-effect of underground organisms.

What I have noticed is that those areas that show those flows look like they were the ground for some time, before being covered in another layer of dust, so those junctions between those two layers may what is left from the time Mars had water or even some kind of live.



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