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Santa Maria!
Julius
post Dec 15 2010, 11:17 PM
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think it deserves a topic on its own
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Stu
post Dec 15 2010, 11:58 PM
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On the slope of Santa Maria...

Attached Image


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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Dec 16 2010, 12:46 AM
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Hopefully we will get some close ups of Crocodile Tale rock.... so much to see though.
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belleraphon1
post Dec 16 2010, 01:21 AM
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WHOA!!!!

I was 23 when the Viking1 lander pad image scrolled down a screen.

These journies .... Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity.

Awesome, poignant... tears in my eyes and chills down my spine!

Craig
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fredk
post Dec 16 2010, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE (Stu @ Dec 16 2010, 12:58 AM) *
On the slope of Santa Maria...

Judging from the drive direction pans, we're headed pretty much in the direction in Stu's image next drive. Perhaps to the "saddle" along the rim behind the big rock in that image? These rocks are big enough that I'm sure they'd want to go around them, not over.
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nprev
post Dec 16 2010, 04:58 AM
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Man, did I pick a heckuva day to move!!! mad.gif

But at least we've achieved connectivity here at the new, improved Casa de Nprev ( A Robot Armstm LLC property), and apparently just in time....stunning!!!

Now I gotta bust open boxes to find my 3D specs


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Guest_Bobby_*
post Dec 16 2010, 06:38 AM
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Anyone here see any Rocks the Rover Scientist will start investigating? I see a few including Crocodile Rock.

Maybe we should give this place a Christmas Theme? Which Rock will be named Rudolf??? Just joking rolleyes.gif
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dilo
post Dec 16 2010, 07:34 AM
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First rough stitch of Navcam pictures (alignment on the crater rim, not on the foreground)
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walfy
post Dec 16 2010, 07:40 AM
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This crater is way more fascinating than I expected. Thanks to everyone for posting the pictures. I don't mind sticking around here for awhile, if that's what they'll do.
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climber
post Dec 16 2010, 08:24 AM
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QUOTE (fredk @ Dec 16 2010, 02:46 AM) *
Judging from the drive direction pans, we're headed pretty much in the direction in Stu's image next drive. Perhaps to the "saddle" along the rim behind the big rock in that image? These rocks are big enough that I'm sure they'd want to go around them, not over.

So, the plan is to get closer and have a look at the inside, and rocks studies will comme afterward, right?


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Astro0
post Dec 16 2010, 09:51 AM
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From the most recent monthly Rover report on TPS:

1) Although there is no detailed exploration plan for Santa Maria, Squyres said that he does not anticipate the rover will venture into the crater.
That's qualified of course with: “We may pull up to the rim of this thing and find something different.”

2) “We're very excited about Santa Maria, because it is the last really spectacular thing we expect we’ll come across before the rover gets to Endeavour,” said Squyres. “Because it's in the same size class as Endurance, but appears to be a little fresher, we think there might be some interesting things to see in the ejecta," he noted. "We'll go into it with eyes open, and we'll make our decision about how long we will spend there when we see it,” he said.

3) “One of the most valuable things we did at Endurance is we took big panoramas from a couple of points around the rim that enabled us to developed a very, very good 3-dimensional digital elevation model for that crater and terrific science has come from that,” Squyres pointed out. “We will probably want to do something very much like that at Santa Maria.”

So the plan is:
1) There is no firm plan until they get a closer look
2) They think that the ejecta will be interesting (and it looks like it is) so they'll be studying the rocks (big surprise there!)
3) Expect some really nice panoramas from a couple of angles smile.gif (get your favorite stitching software ready)

Then of course, as we've all come to expect of the MER mission...something will catch the mission team's eye and everything will change.
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jamescanvin
post Dec 16 2010, 10:05 AM
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QUOTE (climber @ Dec 16 2010, 08:24 AM) *
So, the plan is to get closer and have a look at the inside, and rocks studies will comme afterward, right?


Right. Scott said on Twitter yesterday that after the next drive Oppy should be ~3m from the edge! cool.gif


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Floyd
post Dec 16 2010, 12:43 PM
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Five years ago, Scott was driving Spirit up to Comanche and who would have guessed that they would discover carbonates there. So keep you eyes open everyone... I'm feeling lucky...


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climber
post Dec 16 2010, 12:59 PM
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Thanks James and AstroNAUT, as for the route map, it's nice to see what's coming up.


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fredk
post Dec 16 2010, 03:58 PM
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I was surprized to find some specific plans in the latest update:
QUOTE
Opportunity will conduct an in-situ (contact) science campaign at the crater, which will likely extend through Solar Conjunction (through early February 2011).

In addition to a sophisticated wide-baseline stereo-imaging survey from several positions halfway around the crater, the rover will explore minerals located around the southeast portion of the crater, using the instruments on the end of the rover's robotic arm.

Obviously the mention of the SE rim could only be based on orbital imagery. Perhaps they noticed the circled area in my image, and thought it might provide easier access to layers than the rest of the rim, which seems to drop into the crater pretty abruptly most other places:
[attachment=23311:MERB_Sol...0_1_crop.jpg]
Obviously we're about to find out how it looks from the ground...
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