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Mars and Me

Opportunity Sol 938 (Spirit Sol 958)

13 Sep 2011, 12:04 UTC
Opportunity Sol 938 (Spirit Sol 958)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I'm not on shift today, but this is something I couldn't leave out. As part of my investigation of the Jammerbugt anomaly, I suggested that we reinstate the practice of having the science team periodically brief the engineers on recent science findings. Today's the first installment of that, being kicked off by Steve Squyres himself.

There's way too much to summarize here -- and I didn't bother taking many notes anyway, since they were filming it -- but a couple of things stood out for me:

"Mars is a terrible place -- the average daily temperature is -60C. All the water vapor in the atmosphere would form a layer a hundredth of a millimeter thick."

and

"Meridiani and Gusev were the two best-studied places on Mars before landing. We had Odyssey, MGS, Viking data. And we had 'em both completely wrong! We expected volcanic rock at Meridiani and sedimentary layers at Gusev." (What we found, of course, was basically the reverse. Shows the value of surface data to complement orbital data!)

[Next post: sol 964 (Opportunity sol 943), September 19.]

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