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Opportunity - Sol2000, Another Incredible Milestone Reached
Astro0
post Sep 8 2009, 01:50 PM
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To continue the celebrations for the Mars Exploration Rovers...
Tosol, Opportunity reaches the milestone of 2000 sols on Mars.

Stu and I have put together a new poster for you all to enjoy.
A big thanks to James Canvin for his timely 'Block Island panorama'.

Here's the screen-size version....
Attached Image


You'll find two larger versions (4.5/1.5mb) on my blog
For the really brave, there is a 10mb full-res version for direct download here.
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Astro0
post Sep 8 2009, 01:53 PM
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Hopefully Stu won't mind too much, but here is his brilliant prose on Opportunity reaching 2000 sols.
Don't forget to go and read more of his AstroPoetry here.

Rendezvous 2K

What were the chances of this brief encounter?
One – not even a decade old –
A fearless robot of grinding gears
That has roved for five long years
To reach this place; an explorer born on a world
Of painfully-bright blue skies and burnt
Marmalade twilight. The other,
A graceless child born in the cold, empty space
Between worlds, a gnarled and
Vacuum-chewed chunk of ancient iron
That has not moved even a hair’s width since
Falling from sky who-knows-how-many years ago…

How many times have those weary wheels turned
In the last 2000 sols? One spin for every
Dream a child has ever had of walking
On Mars? One turn for every time a tired scientist,
Leaning towards a flickering JPL screen
Has yearned to see Just A Little More?
And how many times has this nobbled nugget
Of starstone been covered by dirt and ash
And then exposed to the flashing stars and sepia sun
Of Mars again? A dozen? A thousand?

We will never know. But, briefly,
Its aeons-long loneliness is over, and standing
Between two of Meridiani’s Shai-Hulud dunes
It will have company for a while - at least
Until the half-hidden humps of Endeavour’s
Encircling hills beckon Opportunity again,
And then, turning her lightly-dusted back
On Block Island she’ll return to roving
Once more, ignoring the few Farkers that fail
To feel the beauty of her journey as she follows
The sapphire blue star of Earth towards
Her destiny.

Strange, that these two travellers should meet,
That their paths should cross here and now.
So different, yet so alike; each one only part way
Through its journey. The rover will rove on,
Drawn to Endeavour like a metal Martian moth
To a flame, watching the twin moons wax and wane
As the miles are slowly eaten away until, one day,
Her wheels finally scrunch on the gravelled base
Of the great crater’s sun-soaked slopes
And yet another “new Mars” is revealed.

The meteorite will stay right here for many
Years yet until, one sol in some far future year,
The fumbling fingers of gauntleted hands will wrap around it
And place it in the great Museum of Mars
For all to see! Fat, thick-coated water-bloated
Earthers and desiccated, pale Barsoomians alike will all
File slowly past it in its case, silently staring through
Reflections of their curious faces in the glass to
See the famed “Block Island” on its stand,
All trying to understand how one oh-so-ugly rock
Caused such twittering excitement on Terra in ‘09
Before simply being left behind…

Stuart Atkinson 2009
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Stu
post Sep 8 2009, 02:09 PM
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Don't mind at all, that looks beautiful Astro0!! Thanks v much for putting my scribblings with your lovely picture! smile.gif

2000 sols... what an adventure we're all on...


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nprev
post Sep 8 2009, 02:35 PM
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I just re-read "Roving Mars", and it's beyond entertaining to read SS's hopes of surviving 90 sols from this distant perspective...may it grow ever more distant.

A very moving tribute, gentlemen; thank you both for sharing this with us. Onward!!!


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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mhoward
post Sep 8 2009, 05:38 PM
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Nice composition of the image on the poster. Very impressive. Good poem, Stu.
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Phil Stooke
post Sep 8 2009, 05:45 PM
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Mmmmm! Marmalade...

Phil


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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Sep 9 2009, 09:43 PM
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Guests






Farkers?
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Stu
post Sep 9 2009, 10:19 PM
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No, not what you were thinking... laugh.gif

"Fark" is a website... forum... place... that discusses web items, news stories, blog postings... a few of the posters there were rather uncomplimentary (i.e. insulting) about my Spirit 2000 sol poem, so I thought I'd put a dedication in the new one for them. laugh.gif


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BrianL
post Sep 10 2009, 04:16 AM
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Well, I feel honored for the dedication, Stu. I shall endeavour (snort... guffaw) to maintain my reputation as a farker each time I post. wink.gif

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HughFromAlice
post Sep 10 2009, 09:38 PM
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Fantastic achievement- 2 Rovers to 2 thousand!!

I love poetry - well, sort of. It's not often that the wand of inspiration touches one but this just sort of came into my head and I think I should share it!!

There was a Mars Rover called Oppy
who charged over sand hills so choppy.
Well, she went on her hols
and powered through 2000 sols.
Don't say 90 days! We'll get stroppy!

(hols = vacation)

In retrospect.... apologies all, especially to you Stu as this should not really muddy the pixels of your monitor!!! If anyone, can compose better than this, then I will gladly move into the shadows.
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ngunn
post Sep 10 2009, 10:30 PM
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Oh dear, that's brought on a touch of the McGonagalls . . .

Opportunity rover continues
Though strained in her axles and sinews
She still has her wits
And we love her to bits
Long may she stay able and in use.
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HughFromAlice
post Sep 10 2009, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ Sep 11 2009, 08:00 AM) *
touch of the McGonagalls . . .


OK, it could be better. Perhaps I should move over!!!!

(McGonagall was a known expert at fitting as many words into his last lines as possible!)
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ngunn
post Sep 10 2009, 11:04 PM
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No criticism intended. Actually I'm a great McGonagall fan. No-one will ever know if he was partly in on the joke.
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djellison
post Sep 10 2009, 11:34 PM
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Two thousand sols have come and gone
But memories still linger
I held a flight-RAT in my hand
Has anybody seen my finger?

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Astro0
post Sep 11 2009, 12:46 AM
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laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
Best one yet!
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