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ElkGroveDan
Five Years of Spirit on Mars

I normally don't go re-posting the blogs that I know most of us here read regularly, but I have to point out what a wonderful job Emily did in digesting five years of Spirit's exploration into one commentary/column of under 1800 words.

I can't wait to read Opportunity's story later this month.

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001796/
Enceladus75
It's fantastic that Sprirt and Oppy have reached this milestone...

Superb and concise article on Spirit's acheivements by Emily. smile.gif
Del Palmer
Excellent summary! To celebrate the milestone, I've cut together a selection of some of the more amusing moments during the early press briefings:

http://www.speedyshare.com/556118174.html
aggieastronaut
I opened up a bottle of sparkling grape juice to celebrate biggrin.gif
peter59
Official "Bonestell" panoramas available (annotated, stereo, false color, true color).
http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/gallery/press/s.../20081230a.html
Phil Stooke
Very nice panorama. Unfortunately they have repeated the frequent error of mistaking Lookout Point for West Spur. West Spur is not visible from here.

Phil
elakdawalla
I'm glad y'all liked the synopsis. Actually I'm not scheduled to do an Opportunity podcast -- Jim Bell is doing one on the 24th, but he's taken a slightly different angle than just doing a "plot summary" of the last five years. If I can find the time, though, I'll try to do one!

--Emily
Astro0
As has been done previously with Mars Rover anniversaries, let me mark our celebrations with some images to download.
These celebrations go over a few weeks between Spirit's and Opportunity's landing dates.
So let's pass on our thoughts and congratulations through this thread.

Here is a desktop logo I'd like to share...
Click to view attachment

plus posters and more on my blog.

Stuart Atkinson has also prepared another of his brilliant poems (which I've included on the poster design).

It is my honor to dedicate these images to the men and women on the Rover teams who have worked so hard to continue operating these amazing explorers on the surface of that distant red world.

Astro0 smile.gif

Edit: I received a request for an additional desktop based on one of the posters. It's on the blog...
nprev
Beautiful picture, Astro0, and beautiful words, Stu!!! smile.gif

All I can add is my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the men & women of the MER project, a very few of whom I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting. Your unprecedented achievements make all of us proud to be human.
stevesliva
QUOTE (ElkGroveDan @ Jan 3 2009, 02:28 AM) *
but I have to point out what a wonderful job Emily did in digesting five years of Spirit's exploration into one commentary/column of under 1800 words.


Anything that includes a "liquid hot magma" reference is fine by me.
dot.dk
Scott Maxwell has started a blog about the early phases of the mission. It will be great to follow smile.gif
http://marsandme.blogspot.com/
OKB001
Thanks for the head-ups dot.dk, it looks like it's going to be a pretty exciting blog to follow! smile.gif
elakdawalla
QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jan 3 2009, 07:48 PM) *
Anything that includes a "liquid hot magma" reference is fine by me.


biggrin.gif wink.gif I thought only my husband would care about that reference.

And I'm already hooked on Scott's blog.

--Emily
ups
Simply amazing -- never in my wildest dreams did I think the rovers would hang on this long and remain so productive.


Onward we travel... wheel.gif
CosmicRocker
Oh my gosh. I'm becoming exhiliarausted as I try to digest the information in this thread.

Emily: Everything you write is pretty darn good, but that Spirit mission summary was truly outstanding. If scientific journals allowed that style, they'd be a lot more fun to read.

QUOTE (Del Palmer @ Jan 3 2009, 02:02 PM) *
Excellent summary! To celebrate the milestone, I've cut together a selection of some of the more amusing moments during the early press briefings:
http://www.speedyshare.com/556118174.html
Del Palmer: That was most entertaining. I am going to have to listen to it several times to absorb the full content.

QUOTE (Astro0 @ Jan 3 2009, 08:11 PM) *
As has been done previously with Mars Rover anniversaries, let me mark our celebrations with some images to download. ...
I'm not a design expert, but that looks like a really nice logo to me.

QUOTE (nprev @ Jan 3 2009, 09:46 PM) *
... Your unprecedented achievements make all of us proud to be human.
nprev: I couldn't think of any better words than those to express my feelings tonight. Thanks for summing it up.
smile.gif

I can't wait to see where these rovers will take us from here.
CosmicRocker
Oh, and I thought this was an interestingly new perspective to consider...
Stu
Great day!!

Click to view attachment

Have to echo everyone's comments so far, and congratulate everyone involved in the MER mission. I'd also like to congratulate Emily on her great write-up (hope it's getting LOTS of 365 Days of Astronomy downloads!) and Astro0 on his fantastic graphics work: I hope the MER teams print those pics out and plaster them all over JPL! ( Thanks for posterising my poem too!)

My own reflections - too long to post here (I know, there's a shock! laugh.gif ) didn't make it here in the transfer from the other thread, so I hope no-one will mind me re-posting a link.

Seriously, who would have thought we'd be here today celebrating this anniversary? Humans can be so stoopid sometimes it makes me want to cry, but occasionally, just occasionally, we stop scrabbling around in the filth and the garbage just long enough to reach out our dirty, blood-matted monkey paws towards the sky and touch greatness. The MER mission is one of those times. Take a moment today to find your favourite Spirit picture... and marvel at what we can do when we try. smile.gif
jamescanvin
QUOTE (peter59 @ Jan 3 2009, 10:13 PM) *
Official "Bonestell" panoramas available (annotated, stereo, false color, true color).
http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/gallery/press/s.../20081230a.html


Note that this still isn't the finished version - the caption says there are 82 pointings, however it looks to me like they missed three at the lower right that had already been downlinked so there are actually only 79 in that version. The finished article should have 86.

I found the rotated 'ground frame' anaglyph distorted and very hard to view. IMO anaglyphs should be left in the 'rover frame' as that is the orientation that Spirit's 'eyes' saw the scene, otherwise your going to have to rotate your head as you pan across.

So here is my version to say Happy Birthday Spirit! Oh and as an added bonus my anaglyph is in colour - L234567&R123 that's 720 individual images. smile.gif



Enjoy,

James
john_s
QUOTE (Del Palmer @ Jan 3 2009, 09:02 PM) *
Excellent summary! To celebrate the milestone, I've cut together a selection of some of the more amusing moments during the early press briefings:


Thanks from me too for that wonderful compilation!

John.
mhoward
QUOTE (john_s @ Jan 4 2009, 10:44 AM) *
Thanks from me too for that wonderful compilation!


Me too. My favorite part was Steve Squyres managing expectations regarding whether Spirit could make it to the Columbia Hills.

Congrats to the whole rover team, 3 years and 3 months after Spirit made it to the top of Husband Hill and started heading down the other side. Truly amazing!
Oersted
QUOTE (dot.dk @ Jan 4 2009, 06:15 AM) *
Scott Maxwell has started a blog about the early phases of the mission. It will be great to follow smile.gif
http://marsandme.blogspot.com/


Dot.dk, I really think this one warrants a thread of its own, so we can comment as he posts his entries. Could you make it, just called "Scott´s blog" or something?
DarthVader
http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/ is hosting a video from NASA TV: "Passport To Mars - Bouncing To Mars Part 1 & 2":

http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/inde...a-2&catid=1
CosmicRocker
Thanks, Darth. I hadn't seen that before. There is a lot of good historical detail in that video regarding what it takes to pull off a successful planetary exploration mission.
ups
QUOTE (Stu @ Jan 4 2009, 11:07 AM) *
Seriously, who would have thought we'd be here today celebrating this anniversary?


The great thing is we have been allowed to be such a part of this journey -- I can't off the top of my head think of any other mission where the public has been allowed such daily access. I really feel in some respects that the public was a part of the mission team to some small degree -- i'm sure they enjoyed the wonderful images and animations produced here at UMSF.


RoverDriver
QUOTE (ups @ Jan 9 2009, 06:52 PM) *
The great thing is we have been allowed to be such a part of this journey -- I can't off the top of my head think of any other mission where the public has been allowed such daily access. I really feel in some respects that the public was a part of the mission team to some small degree -- i'm sure they enjoyed the wonderful images and animations produced here at UMSF.



As I said other times, I wish UMSF had been allowed to be even more involved in this mission. There is a whole part of the mission that you are missing that space enthusiasts like you would enjoy tremendously: trying to understand what happened on Mars from a tiny bit of data, figuring out the most efficient way of using the daily available resources, inventing new ways to use a broken or worn device. In spite of all this I have been amazed by how well you have been able to follow the various stages of the mission and provide amazingly good products, suggestions and comments. Thank you!

I hope that future missions will allow the public to be part of the "other side" of a mission.

One can always dream, can I?

Paolo
eoincampbell
I love this place too, thanks drivers; image whiz's; poets; bloggers et all... you just take me there... mars.gif
brellis
5 more years! 5 more years!
CosmicRocker
QUOTE (RoverDriver @ Jan 9 2009, 10:06 PM) *
As I said other times, I wish UMSF had been allowed to be even more involved in this mission.
I hope that future missions will allow the public to be part of the "other side" of a mission.
One can always dream, can I?
Paolo
Honestly, we have no expectation of providing direction to the mission. Most of us are simply happy to go along for the ride, and shout out observations from the rumble seat, as we go merrily along. smile.gif
HughFromAlice
QUOTE (eoincampbell @ Jan 10 2009, 03:24 PM) *
I love this place too, thanks drivers; image whiz's; poets; bloggers et all... you just take me there... mars.gif


QUOTE (RoverDriver @ Jan 10 2009, 01:36 PM) *
I wish UMSF had been allowed to be even more involved in this mission. Paolo


Me too! Love it! It strikes a great balance between serious commentary/analysis, innovative ideas and just having fun.

We need to keep giving maximum positive feedback to people like Steve Squyres and the MER team for their quick release of data and encouragement of 'ordinary' people like us to get involved. The more that such feedback can filter up the chain of command of NASA and related structures the sooner a degree involvement by groups like UMSF will be acknowledged as useful and later written into policy!

That's why having Paolo post is not only enjoyable (who doesn't love the inside story!!!) but is beginning to open those doors. It's about testing limits and growing boundaries. What were boundaries become accepted norms! I find it fascinating how we might use the power of a vast number of minds through the internet to solve problems in completely novel ways and to get seemingly impossible things done....... seemingly impossible according to the old paradigms. In the next 20 years I could envisage experimental work and scientific ideas beginning to being shifted from 'static' scholarly journals into much more interactive fora where there are ongoing versions and levels of review - from peer review to general public review.

QUOTE (DarthVader @ Jan 8 2009, 08:22 AM) *
NASA TV: "Passport To Mars - Bouncing To Mars Part 1 & 2":


In connection with this, I thought Bouncing To Mars was very interesting indeed. Particularly in terms of mission team members comments and what they perceived the limits on frank reporting of problems and failures to be. Check out the old Singer sewing machines!! It's good that an organization like NASA can work with others to produce such films about itself.

What I really love about science is exemplified by the comment .... "trying to understand what happened on Mars from a tiny bit of data" - sounds a bit like everyday life! Almost manageable!!!
RoverDriver
QUOTE (CosmicRocker @ Jan 10 2009, 12:40 AM) *
Honestly, we have no expectation of providing direction to the mission. Most of us are simply happy to go along for the ride, and shout out observations from the rumble seat, as we go merrily along. smile.gif


I was not aspiring to getting you in the loop of decision making (not yet!). That is sometimes frightening. Still, the process we follow to analyze the telemetry, the process we follow after an anomaly, or even just how the daily activities are selected are all quite understandable even without (much) prior knowledge and am sure it would make your ride more enjoyable.

Paolo
fredk
From the NASA TV schedule:

January 15, Thursday

2 p.m. - NASA Science Update -- "Something in the Mars Atmosphere" - HQ(Public and Media Channels)
6 p.m. - NASA Celebrates Mars Exploration Rovers 5th Anniversary - JPL (All Channels)
PhilCo126
Looks like a series of interesting talks to celebrate the 5th anniversary:
Rover mission leaders will present free, illustrated talks Thursday, Jan. 15, and Friday, Jan. 16, in Pasadena, with the Jan. 15 event streamed live online and archived for later viewing.
On Friday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Jan. 25, rover team members will give a series of talks at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The observatory will also display a full-size Mars rover model, with team members available to answer visitors' questions.

cschmidt
Click to view attachment
On a different note, honoring five-years:

I’m a high school teacher and guitar player. In 2005, I produced an indie album of original compositions for guitar, called Xanthe Terra. Owing to my love of Mars, this forum, y’all, and on the occasion of the five-year anniversary of MER, I want to share that I had dedicated this CD to Steve Squyres, along with the engineers and scientists who played a part in the MERs’ success. 4 years late in telling you, but what the hell…In the liner notes to Xanthe Terra, I wrote

“This album is dedicated to the many scientists and engineers who have participated in the Mars Exploration Rover Project ’04-5, (sic) led by Steve Squyres. The MER missons - carried out with extraordinary precision, ingenuity, and passion - have to date made significant discoveries about the past presence of liquid water on Mars. The rover teams embody the living spirit of scientific inquiry, as they are the true explorers of our time and an inspiration for the generations to come.”

So why didn’t I just call my CD Gusev Crater? Well, Xanthe Terra just sounds sexier. Also, the etymology of the russian root gus- translates into English as, well, goose. For me, the Columbia Hills do not evoke flocks of geese, so there went that title. Now, Terra Meridiani would have made a dandy name, but then the official Mars name was changed from Terra Meridiani to Meridiani Planum, a much clumsier moniker. (The Martian nomenclature is such a gold mine of euphonious and wonderful names… ) Anyhow, I ended up with this CD of original compositions for guitar, and I call it Xanthe Terra. Easy to find in search, if you are interested.

For further reading, here is a rather interesting article from the Chicago Reader about it, August ’05.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheMeter/050812.html

regards, Charlie Schmidt


RoverDriver
QUOTE (cschmidt @ Jan 20 2009, 03:34 PM) *
...
Easy to find in search, if you are interested.
...
regards, Charlie Schmidt


Do Rover Drivers get a discount on your CD? ;-)

Paolo
cschmidt
Heavens, YES! PMing you now...
RoverDriver
QUOTE (cschmidt @ Jan 20 2009, 05:06 PM) *
Heavens, YES! PMing you now...


I was joking! It would definitely inappropriate of me taking advantage of my position. JPL sometimes has musical events on the Mall. Maybe, I can see if I can arrange things for you to come and play next time you are in the area! Let me know if you are interested.

Paolo
Phil Stooke
It's not really correct to say Terra Meridiani was changed to Meridiani Planum. The old name still applies, but covers a large area, and the 'planum' is just the smooth bit covering up some of the cratered terrain.

Phil
cschmidt
Phil, what a relief to hear that Terra Meridiani was not dumped. But now you've got me wondering whether a Terra is bigger than a Planum, or vice versa.

And Paolo and I are discussing the possibility of me doing a guitar concert at JPL; they have performers from time to time; too cool maybe maybe. Thanks Paolo!

marswalker
QUOTE (Del Palmer @ Jan 3 2009, 12:02 PM) *
Excellent summary! To celebrate the milestone, I've cut together a selection of some of the more amusing moments during the early press briefings:

http://www.speedyshare.com/556118174.html

Hi Del,

Do you mind if I copy this audio cut to our server at work? I would love to be able to share these clips with my cohorts.
It's a nicely entertaining (space geek) bit of audio. smile.gif

I would also like to send the URL for this to my counterparts at JPL. Please, sir?

(I worked on ...well, everything NASA has sent to Mars, starting with MPF. I know some of my co-conspirators in the invasion of Mars would love to hear these clips!)

Kind regards,

"The Mars Guy" Mike (aka Marswalker)
Del Palmer
QUOTE (marswalker @ Jan 22 2009, 05:14 PM) *
Do you mind if I copy this audio cut to our server at work? I would love to be able to share these clips with my cohorts.
It's a nicely entertaining (space geek) bit of audio. smile.gif

I would also like to send the URL for this to my counterparts at JPL. Please, sir?


Of course you can, knock yourself out! smile.gif
centsworth_II
Spirit flashback... five years ago....

"Art comes in and says we got no Odyssey telemetry, so there will be no science tomorrow. Sol 19 will definitely be a recovery sol.... One happy consequence of a recovery sol is: no SOWG today. They have an informal version of it, but it's almost nothing like the real thing. The chair reports a lot of concern about the spacecraft, since the AM comm was erratic and we've heard nothing from the spacecraft since then. But Andy thinks the rover just overheated, in which case it will naturally be OK as it cools, and we're fine. I'm not worrying about it." http://marsandme.blogspot.com/2009/01/spirit-sol-19.html

I have a bad feeling.... laugh.gif (We can laugh now, right?)
elakdawalla
Yeah, I've been waiting for that sol 18 shoe to drop, and it killed me that it didn't do so in today's blog entry!

--Emily
Astro0
From Scott's Blog: As I'm coming in, Jeng Yen tells me it's going to be a slow day. Bad weather over Australia interfered with our comm link, so the day's sequences didn't get uplinked.

I remember this day really well.

As it was realised that there was a loss of normal comms with Spirit, the media started looking for answers and who or what was to blame (they're always on the lookout for a 'bad news' angle).

I think it was Jessica Collison who mentioned that the bad weather at Tidbinbilla (the Canberra DSN) was one of the possible problems. We were tracking Spirit at the time when things started to go haywire.

Well, didn't the media latch on to that. The early calls (the first at 3am from the BBC), told me that a rover manager said that we were the cause of the rover's problems. I spent the next 24 hours fielding reporters and phone calls from just about every news agency in the world saying that JPL/NASA had blamed us for the loss of Spirit - which of course they hand't.

It wasn't until the press conference and Pete Theisinger saying that the anomoly was on the vehicle that the media let us off the hook.

Ah, the joys of those heady days! wink.gif

Astro0
Stu
QUOTE (Astro0 @ Jan 23 2009, 07:01 AM) *
Well, didn't the media latch on to that.


Nooooooooooooooooooooo!?!?!?! And they're usually so diligent when it comes to checking the facts of stories involving science and technology! ohmy.gif

Bet you found out adrenalin really is brown that day, eh, Astro0? tongue.gif
nprev
Yeah, I can see it now: "Mr. Astro, has Tidbinbilla stopped interfering with Spirit's communications yet, and is this a direct response by the government of Australia to recent media controversy concerning Mel Gibson?" rolleyes.gif
centsworth_II
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 23 2009, 01:04 AM) *
Yeah, I've been waiting for that sol 18 shoe to drop...

Happy now?
Spirit Sol 20
"Jeng says it's very bad. No word from Spirit."
Stu
Some 5 Years+ musings...

http://cumbriansky.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/5-years-later

Oersted
Thanks Stu, that was a very nice tribute with which I wholly concur.
Oersted
By the way, are there any places to see full videos of the rover landings and press conferences? I'd like to relive those heady moments.
climber
QUOTE (Oersted @ Jan 27 2009, 01:32 PM) *
By the way, are there any places to see full videos of the rover landings and press conferences? I'd like to relive those heady moments.

If you don't know this, try it. Spirit landing (sound only but it is great, and I was there in the crowd smile.gif )! I listen to it time to time: http://www.planetary.org/radio/show/00000100/
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