Spirt and Opportunity Mission Thread

I figure that this thread could remain for people to talk about the missions as they progress.

That said, Spirit is looking like it will resume opperations in a few days, and a few hours ago Opportunity egressed and is 6 in the dirt! Wahoo!
Also, there is grey hematite at the Opportunity landing site. This is usually, but not always, formed in water.


That sounds cool. This thread might be in the wrong forum, but I am not sure.

I just got a cool picture of, I think, Spirit as my background image. If anyone would like one of those for background pictures go to NASA’s website:


They have some cool pictures.

Slightly unrelated, tomorrow is the anniversary, I think, of the Columbia disaster last year. I remember when I heard what happened at a robotics meeting on a Saturday morning. Anyways, back to Mission Mars.

More specifically, check out the Mars Exploration homepage at:


It’s good to know that Spirit is almost ready to get back to business and that Oppurtunity has successfuly left its lander.

Check out the 2/3/2004 comic entry at: http://www.comics.com/comics/offthemark/

I am grabbing that one and using it in my monthly report to the NASA Associate Administrator! :stuck_out_tongue:

The final fix for the flash memory problems on the Spirit rover will be completed tomorrow. If that is successful, we will be fully functional with two healthy rovers on Mars once again! Both machines will be fully involved with science operations through the end of the week, then we start driving again.


So a month in (Sol 33) for Spirit, and its about to be back to full function again after reformating part of its flash memory today. Tomorrow they plan to use the RAT on the rock Adirondack after about two weeks of the flash problem.

Opportunity is two weeks (Sol 13) since landing. It’s sent back images from the microscopic imager. This one is 3 cm across.

Opportunity is also suppost to dig a trench later this week with one of its wheels.

DigDug, DigDug


sigh I wish I had been back into the whole ChiefDelphi thing earlier, if you guys are all aerospace crazy, you would’ve loved the Conference I went to this past weekend in Waterloo. It was a total trip and you got to learn a lot. Not to mention MD Robotics was there, which was super cool. I think actually the MARS society is having an annual meeting or something in Ottawa this weekend. But of course I’m sure you poor American kids wouldn’t be able to come :frowning: (note: neither can I, I have a ton of junk to do for various people)
Anyway, ttyl

Peace, Love and Space :wink: (I picked it up at the conference, I thought it was cute…)
-Ann-Marie Winkler [email protected] ]

In preparation for the RAT procedure, today Spirit used the brush on the front of the RAT to clean and prepare the surface of the rock Adirondack. VERY surprising results. To be made public in the next day or three. Keep your eyes on this space!


Oh, c’mon Dave! You can tell us. It will stay “between friends”, here on ChiefDelphi. No one will ever know!

Then again, I can see the headlines:

“Life on Mars Proof Leaked on Popular FIRST Discussion Website”

Andy B.

One of my co-workers has her 5 year old granddaughter with her today. They’ve been following the mission together since the first landing, and while her granddaughter doesn’t fully comprehend it, she’s learning a lot. She still thinks the rovers are just toys for big people (and maybe she’s not too far off on that) but she’s learned and accepted that other planets exist and it is possible to reach and explore them. We’ve set her up at a computer today and hooked her up to the kids Mars page, and she’s now happily playing games (I think she’s still playing the one where you get to choose ten things to take to Mars). We had to chase the other adults out of there or they would be playing the games…


The RAT command has been sent. Results are expected in the next download from Mars Odyssey, about two hours from now.


Saw this on Bash… kinda funny and semi-relavent:

< tcowher> personally I’m annoyed that they can get 11KBps from mars but can’t get me a stable 5KBps over 17 miles.

One of the latest images from Mars, downloaded from Meridiani Planum and the Opportunity landing site just this morning…


It gets curiouser and curiouser…

  • dave

Wind, or water?

Thats the $800 million dollar question.


It must be water.


Red alert! W dreams

Should we go to Mars?

I don’t mean personally, of course. I, for one, am unable to go to Mars because of a dental appointment. But should humans, in general, go to Mars?

As you know, the idea of a Mars mission was proposed recently by President George ‘‘W’’ Bush. What happened was, one evening he and his staff were sitting around the Oval Office, trying to think of something for the nation to do, and they got to looking out the window at the vastness of the night sky, and the president suddenly said: ``Hey, we should go to . . . to . . . whaddyacallit!’’

The president actually was thinking of a Chinese restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue, but before he could clarify this, his staff had worked out this whole big Mars mission. So he figured, what the hey.

This is not a new dream. As long as humanity has been human, it has looked toward the heavens and dreamed that some day, some way, there would be giant federal contracts involved. And there has always been a particular fascination with Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, unless we count Marlon Brando.

Mars – sometimes called ‘‘The Red Planet,’’ because it appears, to the naked eye, to be orange – gets its name from the ancient Greek or Roman name ‘‘Mars,’’ meaning ‘‘Mars.’’ The planet has long captured the popular imagination, because for many years, people believed that Martians might live there, based on the fact that there are canals, which suggests the presence of boats, and, in the words of the late Carl Sagan: ``If there are boats, then there would have to be somebody to fix them.’’

In 1938, Orson Welles did a radio ‘‘news’’ broadcast, based on The War of the Worlds, about invading Martians landing in the town of Grovers Mill, N.J. The broadcast created a nationwide panic, although it was of course a hoax: The Martians actually landed in Philadelphia, where many still reside, as evidenced by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.

Today we are pretty sure that nobody lives on Mars, at least not year-round. We base this on the fact that NASA has spent hundreds of millions of dollars sending unmanned probes up there, and they have sent back thousands of pictures, all of them showing: rocks. Granted, there was one picture where, if you magnified the background, you could just make out a sign that said ‘‘PALM SPRINGS 47 MILES.’’ But a NASA spokesperson quickly explained that this was ``an optical illusion, caused by, um, hydrogen.’’

As I write these words, we have yet another probe scooting around on Mars, and it has been sending back exquisitely detailed photographs of: rocks. At this point, I, for one, am willing to stipulate that Mars is, basically, covered with rocks, but our space scientists apparently do not intend to stop until they obtain photographs of every last one of them.

Which leads us to the president’s plan for getting to Mars, which consists of four stages:

STAGE ONE – We set up a base on the Moon, which has less gravity than Earth, because it is farther away.

STAGE TWO – We build a rocket up there, using cheap local labor.

STAGE THREE – Astronauts get into the rocket, blast off from the Moon, and fly back to Earth, where they go to a Wal-Mart and stock up on supplies, especially deodorant.

STAGE FOUR – They blast off again, and, after a difficult, tedious and extremely dangerous six-month space voyage, arrive – if all goes well – on Mars, where they find: rocks.

So the benefits are obvious. But what about the costs? The Bush administration says the Mars mission can be accomplished for only 143.8 zillion dollars, but critics claim that the true cost is likely to be much more like 687 fillion dillion dollars. (These numbers are imaginary, but trust me, they’re as accurate as any other cost estimates you see about the Mars mission.)

The question is, could this money be better spent? We have many urgent needs right here on Earth. What about the elderly? What about the young people? Could we maybe kill two birds with one stone here and send the elderly and young people to Mars? Will the young people want special ‘‘low-rider’’ astronaut pants with the waist at roughly knee level?

These are indeed complex issues, and clearly what we need, if we are to resolve them, is a serious and sustained national dialogue on our priorities and our goals. You start! I’ll be at the dentist.

Spirit was suppost to drive about 20 meters today towards an impact crater, but instead it imaged the RATed hole with the PANcam and MiniTES. Apparently, back when Spirit first malfunctioned with the RAM problem, a hold was placed on driving, and engineers never reset that trip.

Teams here can learn from this! If you open the bleed valve for the compressor to lower an arm after a match, make sure you close it! Same goes for other switches on your control board, if things are in funny places, then unexpected things happen. Unexpected things tend to be bad.


Hey look, it’s Dave!



What’s the blue stuff? From all the other pictures there hasn’t been anything that’s been remotely colored like that. hmmmmm

notable conspiracy theories:

The Coverup: http://enterprisemission.com/images/Spirit/coverup.jpg
I found the real NASA panorama [jpl.nasa.gov] and sure enough, by blowing up that small section in the full uncompressed TIFF image and applying similar contrast/levels filters in photoshop, I was able to acheive the same results (although not as completely overexagerated as in that last frame).
“But Dan, obviously thats only a bug in the stitching of the mosiac shot!”
Oh what a perfect excuse… make a stitched mosiac, and anything you need to cover up is just a problem in the stitching… riiiight

The slotted rock: http://enterprisemission.com/images/Spirit/slot-rock6-PanCam.jpg
“Hey Dan, I think its time to put away that tin-foil hat.”
Hey! just TRY and tell me that “forces” like “water” or “wind” could carve not only a perflectly flat face onto a rock, but also a perfectly rectangular hole which obviously was used for attaching the rock to something at one point in time.
more [jpl.nasa.gov] and the gallery [jpl.nasa.gov]

And finally…

er, whoops… wrong link… hold on a sec…

Angry rant deleted due to the fact that now I have a cooler head…

Satire: A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.

This post was designed to poke fun at the conspiracy nuts. For those who bombarded me with negative rep: people do make use of tone on the Internet. Please learn to look for it.

What is up with these people thinking everything NASA does is a conspiracy or a coverup?? First, it was the moon, now it’s this. Some people have waaaay too much time on their hands and need to get a life…