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Two interesting stories on Space.com
Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 28 2006, 06:30 PM
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A couple of interesting MER-related stories (1, 2) on Space.com today, although it seems to me that many of the details in the first story we learned from Doug's November 6, 2006, interview with Squyres.
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Guest_Myran_*
post Dec 28 2006, 06:45 PM
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Oh yes I read them too, so who might this person be the Stuart Atkinson who makes colourized panoramas and writing poetry about the Mars rover mission.... tongue.gif
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Shaka
post Dec 28 2006, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE (Myran @ Dec 28 2006, 08:45 AM) *
Oh yes I read them too, so who might this person be the Stuart Atkinson who makes colourized panoramas and writing poetry about the Mars rover mission.... tongue.gif

Way to spread The Gospel, Stuey! mars.gif
I guess there's room enough for the two of us here inside Oppy. cool.gif


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Stu
post Dec 28 2006, 07:24 PM
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Didn't know that story was going up until I read it there... bit sentimental for some, I guess, but just the way I am. smile.gif


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tuvas
post Dec 28 2006, 07:43 PM
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That's cool man, the best I did on space.com was get one of my entries from the HiBlog quoted, with a description of something like "A software programmer for the team" or something like that.
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Tesheiner
post Dec 28 2006, 08:21 PM
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Very nice words (as usual biggrin.gif ), Stu!
Congratulations.
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SteveM
post Dec 28 2006, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 28 2006, 01:30 PM) *
A couple of interesting MER-related stories (1, 2) on Space.com today, although it seems to me that many of the details in the first story we learned from Doug's November 6, 2006, interview with Squyres.
Thanks Alex.

The one possibly significant new bit was the result from Mini-TES:
QUOTE
Opportunity’s Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has revealed that this material [in Victoria Crater] is sulfate-rich all the way down, Squyres said. Mini-TES characterizes the martian terrain by using thermal infrared spectroscopy.

“So the picture we got back at Endurance, with a sulfate-rich dune field and lots of acidic groundwater, seems to apply here as well…several kilometers to the south,” Squyres added. “This was a big, long-lived dune field and there was lots of water here.”
Was it an ambiguous comment on Steve S's part, or does "sulfate-rich all the way down" mean that there no trace of the hematite rich blueberry bathtub ring?

Steve
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Stu
post Dec 29 2006, 07:16 AM
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Wow... Just gone online after getting up and found half a dozen lovely emails from people who read my Space.com piece, telling me how much the rovers, and their epic treks, mean to them too... Quite moving actually; sometimes it's easy to think that only us here at UMSF - or other such sites and online meeting places - "get it" about how amazing Spirit and Opportunity are, and only we "get it" about how beautiful their pictures are... but Out There, in the wide world, there must be literally millions of people who don't have online presences like us, who don't sign up for forums like this, who go through life day by day without sitting at monitors for hours drooling over hot-off-the-press pictures of Gusev or Meridiani, but are following the missions in their own way, and are just as moved as we are by each new landscape.

We're part of something bigger now, I think. Spirit and Opportunity have entered our culture, and not just the scientific culture either. People are proud of them, excited by them, even afraid for them, dreading the day they die and this incredible adventure ends. When there are men and women and children on Mars, I have no doubt whatsoever that they will reverently re-trace the routes of Spirit's and Opportunity's treks like terrestrial tourists and historians follow the Oregon Trail today, stopping along the way to have their pictures taken at the outcrops, Ratted rocks and viewpoints we're seeing on our monitors today. I wish I could be one of them, but hey, we got to see these places first, and the martians will be envious of us for being the ones who walked with Spirit and Oppy all those years ago...

Keep going guys, keep going... smile.gif


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MarsIsImportant
post Dec 29 2006, 08:05 AM
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Stu, a lot of people may simply follow the story in bits and pieces. Some may lurk around various sites without joining.

I didn't join this site until very recently. Yet, I've been watching this forum for almost 2 years, maybe only a year and a half. I wonder how many more people are still out there just watching. The new entry pool was the final trigger that got me to join. I had passed on the pool for reaching Victoria, the whole debate about the Beacon, and the debate concerning the next mission target after Victoria--but not this one, not with MRO online.

Many of you guys (and gals) are very intelligent and I didn't feel the need to contribute much to the discussion beyond what was already being said. If I had an original idea, usually one of you would pick up on it on your own within a few days anyway. Many times you guys were 'well ahead of the curve'. So, I didn't feel a strong desire to join until after Oppy reached Victoria and MRO started bringing us those fabulous images (I was so excited!!!). There was just no way that I was going to be left out of the active discussion concerning the new MRO images, especially with the rovers still being relatively healthy.

By the way...that was an awesome interview that Doug had with Steve! Mega Kudos.
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Stu
post Dec 29 2006, 08:12 AM
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QUOTE (MarsIsImportant @ Dec 29 2006, 08:05 AM) *
Many of you guys (and gals) are very intelligent and I didn't feel the need to contribute much to the discussion beyond what was already being said. If I had an original idea, usually one of you would pick up on it on your own within a few days anyway.


Hey, Mars... if you have an idea, or an opinion, don't wait, shout up! I'm sure Doug - and everyone else here - would agree that everyone here has the right to stick their hand up and contribute to any discussion going, that's what makes this place so great, no-one's sneered at or laughed at. If your idea is wrong, someone will politely tell you, and why, and point you in the right direction. If you're right, or spot something new, then you'll trigger a feeding frenzy and receive claps on the back, that's how it works smile.gif


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CosmicRocker
post Jan 2 2007, 06:43 AM
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I've been partially out of touch recently, with the New Year festivities and a trip to San Antonio. I almost missed this! ohmy.gif Thanks again, Alex. I was hoping to simply "catch up" with the news, but those two articles totally ruined my plans for the night.

Stu: That was an unbelievably excellent piece. You managed to capture the feelings of so many of us in so many ways, and in so few words. I'm stunned. Congratulations. smile.gif

The David Leonard piece was an enlightening summary for me. Yes, some of it was stuff we had heard previously, but I thought there were many clues to the Mars team's evolving perceptions of what they are seeing through the "eyes" of the rovers and orbiters, now that they have this synergy thing going on.

These are some of his quotes that I thought were notable (taken completely out of context):
QUOTE
Opportunity’s Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has revealed that this material is sulfate-rich all the way down, Squyres said.

We are also in the process of building up images for a fabulous stereo model of the crater,” Farrand told SPACE.com.

On the other side of Mars at Gusev Crater scientists are preparing to steer the Spirit Mars rover back to a region called “Home Plate”—a still baffling formation near the Columbia Hills.

“The recent HiRISE image of the Spirit site has shown us that there are many more scientifically interesting targets around Home Plate than we realized. Some of these features are difficult to spot from ground level,” Squyres pointed out.

Another goal of the traverse around the margin will be to see if there are any indicators of Home Plate’s geologic origin - be it volcanic or just a product of wind action.

“Although it is clear that the materials that make up the outcrops are volcanic, it is not clear whether the deposition was volcanic in origin—air fall or ballistic—or whether it was just blown into a low spot by normal wind processes,” Crumpler explained.

“These are very high priority targets in my opinion,” Rice told SPACE.com. “Von Braun looks like some of the classic layered buttes and mesas one would see here in Arizona. Goddard could be either an impact crater or volcanic vent. The only way to know is to go.”

I left out the "Promised Land" part, only because it seems like such a distant target, but darn, even in the HiRise imagery that stuff's origin is enigmatic.

...and yeah, he said "all the way down."


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ustrax
post Jan 4 2007, 11:26 AM
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Hey!
I just read the article now... blink.gif
That's OUR Stu! smile.gif
Great piece of writing!


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Stu
post Jan 4 2007, 05:25 PM
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Thanks ustrax! smile.gif

Couple of UMSFers name-checked here too...


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CosmicRocker
post Jan 5 2007, 06:01 AM
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I just want to sneak in and apologize for mixing up the order of Leonard David's names in my recent comment here. Sheesh, I wonder how many times I've made that mistake. ohmy.gif


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ustrax
post Feb 14 2007, 12:53 PM
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One more from Space.com


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