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So, the start of a new year and a time to celebrate another anniversary for the Mars Exploration Rovers - SEVEN YEARS ON MARS!

While we may not have heard from Spirit for a while, that doesn't mean that she is not still with us, and of course Opportunity is keeping busy and delighting us after a distance-record breaking year.

You can see the new Forum banner above and as has sort of become custom - Stu and I have collaborated on a new 'poemster' ('poem/poster' thanks for that word Emily) to mark this anniversary for 'Our Favorite Martians' smile.gif

Click to view attachment

There are larger versions available at my blog including MER@7 logo wallpapers.

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These designs and words are dedicated to the Men and Women of the Mars Exploration Rover mission.
Without your vision, persistence and love, this great adventure on Mars would not have been possible.
Thank you.
Ian R
Blimey! blink.gif Those are very good indeed!
Thanks Astro0 for yet *another* simply beautiful logo and the new banner, both of which are exquisite and epic in equal measure, I'm sure everyone will agree. And a personal thanks for the breathtaking job you did on our 'poemster', illustrating my words so dramatically. Every one of those images brings back a flood of memories, doesn't it? Seven years, unbelievable, just unbelievable...

For anyone who just wants a text version of the poem, here it is:


Seven years ago, a few sols apart, two shooting stars,
Bright as falling angels, pierced an alien cinnamon-hued night,
Dropping onto Barsoom robot Lewis and Clarks
Which have now spent more time ‘alive’ on Mars
Than on Earth and have shown us more of Ares
Than even Bradbury dared to dream:

The Columbia Hills, conquered, glowing gold
In the mid-day marmalade light;
Meteorites glinting in the distance
On the very edge of sight;
Rocks the shape of sharks’ teeth,
Fossilised brains and bears; layers
Of ancient stone piled storeys-high
Beneath a crater’s crumbling edge;
Dust as dark as powdered coal blown
Into folds and waves; a midnight sky ablaze
With stars after another ‘longest drive’ day –

And Earth, the distant Homeworld, reduced
To a sapphire sequin that fades, fades, fades…

Strange and humbling to think
The far future Mars will be a true New World,
A world just as wonderful as ours,
With its own poets and pilgrims, generals
And gentlemen; navies will clash on its terraformed
Seas while screaming armies swarm over Olympus’ heights;
Tortured songwriters will sit on obsidian roofs,
Kicking at martian moss and staring into a twin moon sky;
And lovers will stand on a canyon’s crumbling edge
At dawn, yawning, watching the ice blue Sun rise
Through the Marineris mists and ‘kiss’
Through their visors’ dust-etched glass…

As the aeons pass Mars will have
A million Emperors and kings; a hundred thousand
Bloody wars will be fought over great
And little things; nations will rise and heroes
Will fall, Terra’s Tale told all over again.
But as long as a single heart beats on Barsoom
No-one will ever forget the names
Spirit” and “Opportunity”.
Wild-haired Cydonian composers will pen
Soul-stirring symphonies inspired by them.
Families will follow their legendary routes
Across the lonely deserts of Mars;
Walk in their vanished-long-ago tracks;
Pose for pictures beside Wopmay; edge slowly
Down into Duck Bay to touch Cape Verde’s
Vandalised Stone, perhaps scratching into it
Graffiti of their own…

But for now they are ours,
They belong to us - the rover-hugging horde,
The fans whose hands dance over the keyboards
Of computers in bedrooms and dens, offices
And schools, around the world, waiting
Breathlessly for the next download of raws, all
Hopelessly in love with the rust- and ochre-painted
World that is the rovers’strawberry-sanded wonderland.

© Stuart Atkinson 2010

It's easy to forget sometimes how priviliged we all are to have been VIP passengers on this incredible voyage of discovery and exploration. But it's only because of the hard work, determination and sheer stubbornness/bloody mindedness of Jim Bell, Steve Squyres, Scott Maxwell, Paolo and countless, countless others that we've all been able to stand by the railings on the MER mission and see Mars drifting past with our own eyes. It's easy to take it for granted sometimes that we can just wander over to our PCs, sit down with a cup of coffee and browse the latest images *of another planet*, often just hours after they were taken. But that is an enormous privilege, one that was fought for by people already mentioned, and every image is a gold nugget to be treasured. It's easy to convince ourselves that tomorrow will be no different from today, that Oppy will keep rolling, and the pictures will keep rolling in. But over the horizon is a black, black day when everyone here will go online and find that it's all come to a halt, that both rovers are dead, the last image has been returned from Mars by a rover, and this grand adventure has ended. So, as we celebrate seven years, everyone please take a moment to say "Thank you", in your own way, to the men and women who have given us a new Mars, and who have let us sit next to them, looking over their shoulder, while they've done it.

Thank you!
Nice! You should put that logo on a t-shirt for the Planetary Society or something—I'd definitely buy it. smile.gif
Already done!

Thanks so much to Astro0 for sharing his fabulous design.

7 years on Mars T-shirts

QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Jan 3 2011, 07:08 PM) *
Thanks so much to Astro0 for sharing his fabulous design.

Yes, really cool & professional space logo design ... congratulations smile.gif

Has anyone made a movie of Opportunity's entire journey thus far? I'd sure like to compose a soundtrack for it! I did a thing for Spirit after 343 sols, it's on It'd be even more fun to incorporate both Spirit & Opportunity into a symphony-length piece!
Families will follow their legendary routes
Across the lonely deserts of Mars;
Walk in their vanished-long-ago tracks;

What a wonderful image - future Martians walking the routes of the long-ago rovers!
Wow, now I wish I could do it myself, like the day I walked the (much shorter) distance of the Wright Brothers' first four flights in order to feel the first flights for myself.

I'm looking forward to the path being set to music with video, so I can at least take a *virtual* walk in the path of the rovers.
Thanks to Stu and Astro0 !
Loving the segue of beautiful banners over the many months,
Lately, USS Planetary Society looks lovely in orbit !
Some more personal thoughts/ramblings here...
I love these logos.
They makes so stylish. cool.gif
Here's something to help put seven years into perspective: The title of this news story is "The rovers that never die". That story is almost six years old now!
Congratulations to all the MER staff and Scientists and everyone else who has made these extraordinary missions possible.
Something new from Stu and I to mark Opportunity's milestone.
Our latest poemster. smile.gif

Web size version here:
Click to view attachment

Detail from the full poster:
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There are full- and half-size versions on my blog.


OH - and Happy Birthday Stu!! smile.gif
Wow, another absolutely beautiful poster Astro0! Honoured to have my scribblings on it!

( And thanks for the birthday wishes too...)
Another beautiful collaboration! Thanks for your works, both separately & jointly, Stu & Astro0; they are always uplifting and poignant.
MER website shows Spirit at 2510 & Oppy at 2490.
Since Spirit is Officialy still there, we're at 5000 sols.
Opportunity has been on Mars for seven years. My, how her horizon has changed...

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Between those two images: dust storms and deep dunes; sunsets and sunrises; moon transits and meteorites. Ahead: the hills of Endeavour, and all the wonders which might be found there.

Everyone, please, take a moment out of your busy day to thank everyone involved in the MER mission which has become such an important part of our lives. And take another moment to reflect on just how incredible this machine is, to have done so much, and travelled so far, on an alien world.

And just think... the most amazing discoveries of the mission, the most exciting days of the adventure, the most magical part of the journey, may still be ahead...

Nice remark on 7 years anniversary Stu!
Oh, the memories! Seven years of roving on another planet, this is really unbelievable.
QUOTE (Stu @ Jan 25 2011, 05:49 AM) *
Opportunity has been on Mars for seven years. My, how her horizon has changed...Everyone, please, take a moment... smile.gif

Very much agree, and here's to the UMSF image and tech. maestros; relentlessly posting here for everyone's amazement; and that goes for you too, Stu ... smile.gif
And Machi...and...
Cheers, 7 years !
Seven years. Wow. That's a quarter of my life. Do you ever look at Opportunity's route map and think back to what you were doing at the time?
To All The People at JPL. A Job Well Done. biggrin.gif

and to everyone here at UMSF. Thanks for all the updates, news and photos. Keep on Rolling to New Adventures.
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