Mars-Exploration-Rover-Spirit

This Comic Of The Spirit Rover’s Life On Mars Will Break Your Heart https://xkcd.com/695/

On this day in 2003, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, was launched en route to the Red Planet. Spirit operated on Mars until it became irrecoverably stuck in soft soil on May 1st, 2009. Spirit continued operating from its position until communication with the rover was lost on March 22, 2010.

Read NASA’s ‘Heartfelt Goodbye to a Spirited Mars Rover’ http://blogs.jpl.nasa.gov/2011/05/a-heartfelt-goodbye-to-a-spirited-mars-rover/

This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd Martian day, or sol, of its mission. The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover’s navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover’s panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see.The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera’s color filters.

Mars Rovers Spirit & Opportunity by the Numbers. | Image Credit: NASA’s Mars Exploration Program

Spirit:

  • Life Span: 6 years
  • Raw Images: 128,000
  • Miles Traveled: 4.8
  • Degrees by Steepest Slope: 30

Opportunity:

  • Life Span: 10 years
  • Raw Images: 187,000
  • Miles Traveled: 24
  • Degrees by Steepest Slope: 31

• See more Spirit & Opportunity Rover Highlights here.
• View Mars Rover maps here.
• Learn more about all the Mars Rovers here.

4

Everyone go check out Christine Rueter, who tweets as TychoGirl, to read the wonderful poems she writes and collages she makes about space, science, and exploration. 

These are just a few samples of her work so far in April for National Poetry Month. I can’t wait to see what she creates next!

- Summer

This Is The First Image Of Earth Taken From Mars

On 8 March 2004, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took the first image of Earth from Mars, an hour before sunrise. 

According to the image’s description, the photo is a mosaic of images taken by the rover’s navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and a panoramic image of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic image was increased twice to make Earth easier to see. 

The First Image of Earth from Another Planet

This is the first image ever taken of Earth from the surface of a planet beyond the Moon. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit one hour before sunrise on the 63rd Martian day, or sol, of its mission. (March 8, 2004)

The image is a mosaic of images taken by the rover’s navigation camera showing a broad view of the sky, and an image taken by the rover’s panoramic camera of Earth. The contrast in the panoramic camera image was increased two times to make Earth easier to see. The inset shows a combination of four panoramic camera images zoomed in on Earth. The arrow points to Earth. Earth was too faint to be detected in images taken with the panoramic camera’s color filters.

The image is reminiscent of the famous pale blue dot capture by Voyager 1. If you have never heard Carl Sagan’s famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ speech, check it out here.

(Continue Reading)

On this day in 2004, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit touched down on the surface of the Red Planet.

Consisting of two rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) received reinforcements three weeks later when robotic exploration rover Opportunity made a successful landing on Martian soil. Opportunity is still exploring the Red Planet to this day, paving the way for the eventual landing of Curiosity years later in 2011.

“We succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, clearly both Spirit and Opportunity succeeded in their missions and have left a big impact for future study,” stated Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.

Arvidson continues, “We will be analyzing data from the Spirit rover for years to come; we have a lot of information so we have a lot more to learn from its mission. These rovers set the bar really high in terms of robotic exploration. They were well tested and well designed.”

One of the groundbreaking geological discoveries was the observation of bright, white soil near Home Plate, a low plateau NASA identified for Spirit to explore upon landing on Mars. After the data was analyzed with the rover’s on board X-ray spectrometer, scientists determined that the material was nearly 100% pure silica; positive evidence that the Red Planet once was the home of ancient steam vents and hot springs, similar to those found here on Earth.

“The data from Spirit show us that Mars was a very different place in the past from what we see today. This surface area that Spirit explored had a lot of explosions as it was a hot, wet, watery place,” concluded Steve Squyres, principal investigator for MER.

Both designed for short, three-month long exploratory missions, Spirit and Opportunity have far surpassed NASA’s wildest dreams. Bruce Banerdt, NASA project scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, stated the following:

“Spirit faced a lot of challenges on Mars. When the wheel went out, we had to relearn how to drive the rover. It is truly remarkable what we were able to achieve with this rover with only five wheels.”

Source: http://goo.gl/OGvreq

Watch this short video, “The Legacy of Mars Rover Spirit”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_G3qUoCWtA

With a Penny4NASA, urge Congress to honor the legacy of Spirit with the continued exploration of Mars:
http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

2

A perspective view on Mars

Top: The straight, steep-sided channel of Ma'adim Vallis enters the flat-floored Gusev crater from the south in this perspective view of Mars generated from Mars Global Surveyor topographic data and Viking orbiter color data. To the north (left) of Gusev is a volcano, Apollinaris Mons. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit performed its mission within Gusev crater from January 2004 to March 2010.

Bottom: The straight, steep-sided channel of Ma'adim Vallis enters the flat-floored Gusev crater from the south in this perspective view of Mars generated from Mars Global Surveyor topographic data and Viking orbiter color data. To the north (left) of Gusev is a volcano, Apollinaris Mons. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit performed its mission within Gusev crater from January 2004 to March 2010.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / USGS / MOLA Science Team

9

Incredible Photographs From the Surface of Mars

It’s been 10 years since the twin exploration rovers Spirit and Opportunity touched down on the surface of Mars. Since then, the rovers have traveled more than 4.8 miles and 23.6 miles, respectively, and have taken hundreds of thousands of images of the red planet. John Grant, supervisory geologist in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies and chair of the Science Operations Working Group on the mission, selected 50 images based on his colleagues’ suggestions for the exhibition “Spirit & Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars.” “The idea we had for the exhibit was to show the beauty of Mars and at the same time tell the story of the mission and the discoveries,” Grant said. “We use the images as a hook to bring the public in, and then they learn something about the mission and about Mars by looking at the labels.”

(Continue Reading)

Ten years ago today in 2004, NASA’s robotic exploration rover Spirit touched down on the surface of Mars. Consisting of two rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) received reinforcements three weeks later when robotic exploration rover Opportunity made a successful landing on Martian soil. Opportunity is still exploring the Red Planet to this day, paving the way for the eventual landing of Curiosity years later in 2011.

“We succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, clearly both Spirit and Opportunity succeeded in their missions and have left a big impact for future study,” stated Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.

Arvidson continues, “We will be analyzing data from the Spirit rover for years to come; we have a lot of information so we have a lot more to learn from its mission. These rovers set the bar really high in terms of robotic exploration. They were well tested and well designed.”

One of the groundbreaking geological discoveries was the observation of bright, white soil near Home Plate, a low plateau NASA identified for Spirit to explore upon landing on Mars. After the data was analyzed with the rover’s on board X-ray spectrometer, scientists determined that the material was nearly 100% pure silica; positive evidence that the Red Planet once was the home of ancient steam vents and hot springs, similar to those found here on Earth.

“The data from Spirit show us that Mars was a very different place in the past from what we see today. This surface area that Spirit explored had a lot of explosions as it was a hot, wet, watery place,“ concluded Steve Squyres, principal investigator for MER.

Both designed for short, three-month long exploratory missions, Spirit and Opportunity have far surpassed NASA’s wildest dreams. Bruce Banerdt, NASA project scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, stated the following:

"Spirit faced a lot of challenges on Mars. When the wheel went out, we had to relearn how to drive the rover. It is truly remarkable what we were able to achieve with this rover with only five wheels.”

Source: http://goo.gl/OGvreq

Watch this short video, “The Legacy of Mars Rover Spirit”
The Legacy of Mars Rover Spirit

With a Penny4NASA, urge Congress to honor the legacy of Spirit with the continued exploration of Mars:
http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/