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leustek
With the MER operations teams stated goal of entering Victoria regardless of whether it will be possible to exit, it might be time to begin choosing when and where this will happen.

My guess is that as long as Oppy is healthy the MER team will completely circumnavigate Victoria and this will take about 20 months. My reasoning is as follows. Entering Victoria will be easy. Driving to the base of an outcrop would be impossible at every bay we have seen so far, with the possible exception of Duck Bay. My guess is that the team will try for as much reconnaissance information as possible in the hopes of finding a better location for science. But they will not find it and will take the plunge at Duck Bay on August 16, 2008.
jamescanvin
QUOTE (leustek @ Dec 19 2006, 12:20 PM) *
at Duck Bay on August 16, 2008.


2008! blink.gif Wow, that's a long time.

Can we stick to sols with predictions? I find it hard to think in earth time. rolleyes.gif wink.gif That would be sol 1621/2 for you then.

I'm going to have to think about this one... but I don't think it'll be THAT long.

James
AndyG
Why a complete circumnavigation?

Opportunity is old, and the risks of it breaking down before entering the crater rise over time. That potential loss of science doesn't justify the need for a "victory lap" to my mind. With regards to slopes and the accessibility of entry points, I suspect any benefits to be gained from ground knowledge of a complete loop will be more or less nullified by a mass of data, both from orbit and from long-baseline stereo imagery.

Personally, I think points of interest will favour a entry sooner rather than later. Once past the dark streaks to about 2 o'clock on the rim, the slumps of the Soup Dragon would be where I'd be aiming. A guess? Entry on Sol 1270, then a dander back anticlockwise along the base of the outcrops that have already been seen from above - shadows permitting, of course.

Andy
ToSeek
Sol 1365, just to have a guess in the pot.
tuvas
I'm guessing March 17, 2007, it's about the right time frame, and it happens to be the birthday of one of my sibblings (That just tossed in for dumb luck, but, well, I had to pick some day...)
Sunspot
I think they'll drive into Duck Bay as soon as the Sun is high enough to produce enough power on the more northward facing slopes.
Phil Stooke
Duck Bay looks good for access and for the nice outcrop on its north edge, probably the best we've seen yet for accessibility.

But one thing really worries me. All along the top, the very rim of Duck Bay, is a big drift. Endurance didn't have that. I think a way past it might be found at its northern end, but it severely limits access and might make exit completely impossible. If another bay can be found with reasonable slopes and outcrops but no drift at the top, it would make a better choice. So I expect a bit more searching.

Phil
Edward Schmitz
Duck Bay on Sol 1192. Entry on the north side of the bay. Exit (if that ever happens) would be at the south side.

I'm betting that they want those lower layers within reach of the arm - sooner rather than later. Duck bay looks good for several reasons.

1) the ejecta blanket looks relatively thin.
2) the exposed rock looks deepest of all the bays.
3) the slope looks favorable.
4) It is relatively near by.
imipak
Oh... go on then. Sol 1143. A good year for Portugal, apparently. From Steve Squyres' comments about where the good geology seems to be, I doubt they'll go further round than the 90 degree position. The current JPL Opportunity Status page mentions imaging Bottomless Bay partly to decide whether it would make a good entrance ramp.

I'm sure those slopes are steeper than eighteen degrees though. Could Oppy zig-zag back and forth across the slope to make it easier? The other thing that bugs me is that a wheel failure after going over the edge would mean we'll never see the surface of Meridiani again. But weighed against the prospects for a close examination of those cliff-faces... eeesh. Better to die trying to reach them than sitting on the rim, I suppose.
WindyT
Are we talking all four wheels in and going down, or toe in the water(slope) and analyze for a few sols at the entry to one of the bays? I agree that Duck Bay is a great place to come back to and start analyzing the slope under the ejecta, but I'm going to hold on any prediction for the moment to see if any bay closer to the Soup Dragon will look as good to the MER team.
sattrackpro
Well, I think there is ~some~ desire to enter the crater sooner, rather than later... but, from past experience, patience has been the ~usual~ approach. They will, I think, look longer and harder at the possibilities - and try to chose a path that at least offers the possibility of exit after entry - the best opportunity (no pun intended) to snuggle up to lowest-level exposed layers - and the best sunlight (seasonal) exposure for the attempt.

I'd guess they will circumnavigate (because they will probably need a later-in-time seasonal entry time) - and they may attempt to catch some of the cleansing winds where we see the whirlwind tracks at bays C5, D2, and D5 (with probability emphasis on D2) - which could mean a somewhat extended or slowed approach at that point (depending on the seasonal likelihood of wind at the time - and the best balance with sun position for entry.)

So - to toss out a number, I’d expect an entry decision to come no sooner than about sol 1190 - unless they stumble onto what looks to be the perfect spot sooner - maybe somewhere on the other side. But, I don’t believe that's likely.

It is likely that at current operational speed, they could take as long as 220 to 250 sols to circumnavigate the crater - or as few as 110 to 150 days - if for seasonal reasons (sun) they must hurry the trip, and because Duck Bay or other spots looked better.

Because it is of advantage to look closely at all the possibilities, and considering the advantages of a few cleaning ‘events’ - I’d tend to think an entry date further along rather than sooner may be likely - somewhere near sol 1285.

But, if the sun is best in the late spring, early summer, I’d bet against the ‘full-tour’ - and look for an early and speedy return to Duck Bay for entry - backtracking after a possible relatively-short attempt to find ‘cleaning events’ - and entry when 'acceptable' power is available, at Duck Bay.

Anything can happen to change - everything - but an August date here on earth for entry would not surprise me in the least. smile.gif
ustrax
QUOTE (imipak @ Dec 19 2006, 09:10 PM) *
Oh... go on then. Sol 1143. A good year for Portugal, apparently.


Man! Are we THAT old?! blink.gif
smile.gif
Following on the same path...sol 1139... wink.gif
MahFL
I'll say 1151.
Ant103
Hum... For me (fourmi, tiens? biggrin.gif) I say Sol 1103 biggrin.gif (without analysis of the situation, only in link to my nickname... rolleyes.gif ).
Nirgal
Sol 1111 smile.gif
climber
QUOTE (Ant103 @ Dec 20 2006, 05:46 PM) *
Hum... For me (fourmi, tiens? biggrin.gif)

Alors ça, c'est fourmidouble... wink.gif biggrin.gif
dilo
I think will be done in the vicinity of Sofi crater, let's say on 9 July 2007 (my birthday, should be around Sol 1235). rolleyes.gif
jamescanvin
I'll go 1170 - 13 times the primary mission time. smile.gif
Floyd
The navcam and pancam pictures that have come down in the last few day make it look like it would be extremely easy to enter Bottomless Bay and travel down past the rubble layer to the white layer at the top of the layered bedrock. What do you think of a toe dip and making use of instrument arm? How steep is the initial part of the bay—less than 15-20 degrees? I think a quick toe dip followed by more circumnavigation would be a great strategy for maximizing science return and minimizing the risk of dying before at least some Victoria interior data is collected. I therefore pick Sol 1038 (Christmas = Monday) for entry day.
leustek
QUOTE (WindyT @ Dec 19 2006, 04:27 PM) *
Are we talking all four wheels in and going down, or toe in the water(slope)



I think the criterion should be "committed", all wheels down the slope.

In the absence of finding an entry point with high probability of extractability, the team will probably want to look close-up at the erosion on the far side of Victoria before sending Opportunity down the hole. At that point Opportunity will be half way round. Since there will be no advantage to back-tracking, Duck Bay will be accessed by way of the unvisited rim. I seem to be way off the average on my guess of sol 1544, but I am going to stick with it. Opportunity is healthy. It seems like a waste to take the one way trip in, when so much more roving is possible.
alan
Four months to survey the north side of victoria, a month to drive back. Sol 1181

These sols have been taken
1038, 1103, 1111, 1119?(March 17 2007) ,1122, 1134, 1143, 1151, 1170, 1181, 1192, 1200, 1205, 1210, 1219, 1224, 1234, 1235, 1242, 1244, 1255, 1270, 1285, 1305, 1313, 1365, 1395, 1425, 1544, 1621

editted to add more guesses
MizarKey
Put me down for 1242. No specific criteria except for the '42' part...
MarsIsImportant
Entry point should be at Soup Dragon Bay on day 1219. That gives plenty of time for recon around the various capes with extra time given for interesting features. Also, some extra time is given for possible minor technical problems. The tilt direction for light should be good for the rover around the Soup Dragon area. I'm not sure about the actual date, but I'm confident about the entry point; otherwise, the MER team would have already tried a toe dip at bottomless bay. It didn't happen; so it not likely to happen anytime soon. There is no need to be in such a hurry with plenty of recon left to do on along the edge of the crater. So my best guess is sol 1219...unless something majorly wrong happens with opportunity before then. And that entry may just be a major toe dip.

I don't know how oppy can move around inside the crater much, once it makes a full commitment. There is simply too much sand around the points of the capes. Further exploration may need to be consecutive major toe dips along strategically placed Capes and Bays, with most of the movement occuring outside the crater.

I think oppy will stay relatively healthy for at least another couple of hundred sols. I'm worried about a major sand storm during the coming season. If she makes it through, I see no reason why she won't make it through next martian winter too. Beyond that coming spring season, oppy will not likely be all that healthy. Now that MRO has arrived and once Oppy has throughly investigated Victoria, why not do a real and deliberate "Thelma and Louis" off one of the steepest cliffs.

The marks from the roll and tumble should be visible from MRO. We might even get lucky by oppy surviving the fall! And since the closest target beyond Victoria is some 12 to 15 kilometers away, there is no way that Oppy could possibly make that long trip. Even if she successfully made such a long trip, her instruments would be in such poor shape that...what would be the point? So a "Thelma and Louis" jump off a cliff at Victoria seems fitting and possibly more productive. It could provide additional valuable science beyond anything it could gain by a slow death in the dune fields south of Victoria. But such a dramatic end should not be considered seriously for a couple of years down the road. Else, maybe Opportunity should be directed toward the very center of the major dune fields within Victoria. I don't think Oppy would get very far. But there might be valuable additional science from either alternative mission extension. Certainly, both would be better than going for the pie in the sky goal of the big crater 12 km away toward the southeast.

Meanwhile, I stick by my prediction of an entry of some sort on or near sol 1219. The first major goal should be Soup Dragon because of the potential depth of the strata there.
ustrax
QUOTE (MarsIsImportant @ Dec 22 2006, 07:19 PM) *
...why not do a real and deliberate "Thelma and Louis" off one of the steepest cliffs.


Just restrain the suicidal tendencies...
Mad, mad, mad... you're all completely mad. I love it! rolleyes.gif
PhilCo126
Best guess wink.gif sol 1234 wheel.gif
climber
I'll go for Climber's cave exploration ... on the way out while entery using Duck's Bay when sun will provide enough energy to enter safely. It seams you've all forget this don't you?
Sol 1122 will be the one declared as "starts to enter".
Tesheiner
Given the team interest on Bottomless bay (based on the pics) I would say this will be the *first* entry point. But first I'm pretty sure they will continue driving clockwise and only make the first attempts to enter VC on the way back from the northern size.

Guess for sol 1313. wink.gif
Rakhir
I take the 1200
climber
QUOTE (Rakhir @ Dec 23 2006, 03:32 PM) *
I take the 1200

Are you sure this time ? biggrin.gif
ElkGroveDan
QUOTE (climber @ Dec 22 2006, 01:15 PM) *
I'll go for Climber's cave exploration ...


Shall we start a pool to see if they will enter on the Near Rim, or Far Rim?
Pando
QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Dec 23 2006, 06:26 PM) *
Shall we start a pool to see if they will enter on the Near Rim, or Far Rim?


Groan.... laugh.gif

Ok, I'll make a prediction. Oppy will enter at the near rim, that is the rim nearest to Oppy. It cannot possibly enter at the far rim.
Pavel
1255

Founding of Königsberg. Good year for the Teutonic Order and for my girlfriend (she was born there) smile.gif
antoniseb
I'll say 1210, and I think they'll do it on the South side of Beacon (near side).
DFinfrock
I'll take 1224. And I'm thinking Far Side. (I was on the Near Rim team for the Beacon, so I've decided to switch sides).

David
edstrick
I keep thinking entry POOL, and having this wacked out fantasy of a spring filling the crater as the rover starts down the boat-ramp of one of the bays...

glub.

glub.
MahFL
I'll say nearside as thats where the tallest cliffs are.
BrianL
I will take sol 1205. Has our official judge of all things competitive made a ruling on what constitutes an entry? I would hate to think that belly up after a cliff dive would be considered a winner.

Brian
micvoo
Opportunity will dip into the crater on sol 1395. That's my guess.

wheel.gif
Myran
Sol 1425 - and that oppy will request a bit of R&R. tongue.gif
edstrick
Somebody should photoshop a pic of Oppy wearing water-wings and raising a roostertail wake in the water as it cruises around inside a lake-filled crater.
micvoo
Hi,

Based on the info on Victoria crater we have so far, what would be the most likely entry (and exit) points for Opportunity?
I cannot tell which degree the slopes are at, but Duck Bay seems not so steep (although the composition of the downward terrain itself has to be taken into account as well of course).

Any ideas anyone?

Michiel
bergadder
1244 Near rim
pch
My guess: sol 1305 at bay D5 or E1
FIN Mars
over 1500 or never.
I'm sorry, but i can't believe that.

I would to know, how hight dunes there is on trip.
Bobby
As the creater of the Beacon Near/Far Side topic of the past. I will say Oppy will spin her wheels on the North Side and investigate the Beacon side for a while then do a 180 and head back to Duck Bay (Aflac) to explore there as it looks to be the most interesting and safe entrance to the inside. I will say about 100 Sols from now or Sol 1,147. Now how many sols will Oppy be inside Victoria before she burns hot metal to get back out?

I will say about 125 sols inside going down as far as possible.
tuvas
I'll convert my guess to the popular sol listing, say, 1140. I predict it will enter in an as-of-yet unnamed bay, probably the one it is currently approaching.
Tesheiner
Yup, that still-unnamed-bay is being considered by the MER team. See here: http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...ost&p=84966

I stick with my original bet. Sol 1313. wink.gif
MarsIsImportant
My prediction of 1219 is still good.

The following is an approximation of what I expect until the first egress out of the crater. I guess that there is plenty of room for error; but it is fun to speculate.

The blue lines are my proposed track for the rover. The green lines are potential side tracks. The purple ellipses highlight areas of interest. There are a lot of purple circles!!! Gee! I wonder why?

Click to view attachment
antoniseb
Your map is interesting, but it doesn't show the rover spending time along one of the deeper cape-bay cliffs (such as the one for Beacon). I had the impression that they wanted to study was the layers with the various upclose tools, such as brush & grinder, alpha-xray, moessbauer, etc. The interesting features you've identified are OK, but don't systematically tell the story of how this area got the way it is.
atomoid
I think MarsIsImportant (yeah that too, but in this phrase im referring to the forum poster's name) is right on for the actual entry point, its the perfect placment for exploring the steep side of the cliffs and then to come up and out through duck bay...

I liked the idea of SOL 1111 (if not only for the reason its the only sol either rover will have that has four of the same four digits while still in service (sorry im not optimistic enough to keep the Spirit until sol 2222, although i do hope i get the Opportunity to eat my words)). ..however, i get the sense there is deafinItaly a high priority on going to check out the water-modified faults over by the Soup Dragon referred to in recent papers in order to get some ground truth there. ..and they would probably want to do that before going down in the hole, since there's no guarantee there is an exit strategy that will work. so now im thinking instead of going down and in and then over to the faults afterwards, they will circumnavigate there first and come down MarsIsImportant's spot and then go back out via duck bay (simply because it appears of all the bays to have the best exposed bedrock for traction going up), but then again i havent been reading the scientists' journals so im just guessing.

..based on that i'm now committing to SOL 1234 (since its a similarly unique number)
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