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You are browsing the archive for MER.

12 May 2009

Ups And Downs for Spirit Rover

Recently, Spirit has had some very good news and some very bad news. The good news is that we just had a huge cleaning event, with high winds blowing the solar panels clean so that we are getting power levels that we haven’t seen in years! The bad news is that this occurred as Spirit got stuck in deep, soft sand. Last week we were commanding drives of tens of …

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15 April 2009

Watching out for Dust Storms

NASA just sent out this press release discussing the various ways that we watch out for dust storms that might be dangerous to the rovers. I have actually used data from the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) that they mention in the release, but I used it for the exact opposite task! I wrote programs that search through the images taken by that camera (there are a lot of them, it …

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11 April 2009

Rover Huggers

Stuart Atkinson just posted a very nice short story over at his blog Cumbrian Sky that you should all go and read. Here’s a teaser: “Hurry up!” Catriona said loudly into her helmet mike. She didn’t bother to turn round towards her brother as she spoke. She didn’t need to; apart from herself and her mother, whose hand she was clutching tightly, he was the only other person for miles …

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6 April 2009

Spirit and Opportunity: Good Old Girls

Know what’s awesome? This video, put together by Steven Hammond, is awesome: That’s the song, “Good Old Girl”, by Marian Call. And the pictures, of course, are from Spirit and Opportunity. The song is actually about a somewhat larger, somewhat more fictional spacecraft, but it sure is fitting for the rovers.

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12 March 2009

House Resolution 67

Recognizing and commending the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Cornell University for the success of the Mars Exploration… (Introduced in House) HRES 67 IH 111th CONGRESS 1st Session H. RES. 67 Recognizing and commending the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Cornell University for the success of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the 5th …

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8 March 2009

MER Calendar!

Check it out! NASA has just released a new calendar with images from the Rovers. It is a 2009-2010 calendar, and spans one mars year (~2 earth years). It is best printed on 11″x17″ paper.

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4 February 2009

NASA on the Pancam Spinoff

[email protected] has a nice article about the Mars rover spinoff technology and the awesome inauguration picture that I wrote about before. Go check it out!

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3 February 2009

Mars Rover Poetry by John Updike

I wish every day could start out like today: I get my coffee, fire up the laptop, and only have one email waiting for me.  And it contains a poem I’ve never read.  By John Updike.  About Spirit and Opportunity: Duet on Mars by John Updike Said Spirit to Opportunity,     “I’m feeling rather frail,  With too much in my memory,     Plus barrels of e-mail.”  Responded Opportunity,     “My bounce was not so …

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2 February 2009

New Google Mars

Google Earth’s latest edition was just released and guess what? It has a Mars setting! There was a way to overlay Mars data on the Earth globe in previous versions, but now that’s no longer necessary: just click a button and you’re on Mars. You can choose from a variety of global maps including topography, Viking images, Day and nighttime infrared, and visible color. It also has footprints for high …

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30 January 2009

Rover Cake!

Today the rover team got an email from Michelle Nichols at the Adler Planetarium showing off the awesome cake that they had for their celebration of the rovers’ 5th anniversary on Mars. It’s absolutely amazing. I can’t believe they ate such a masterpiece! Here’s the description of the cake from the email: The body of the rover and the high gain antenna were all made of toffee buttercrunch cake with …

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