Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2nd anniversary on Mars

The first Mars Rover, Spirit landing on the Planet Mars 2 years ago tommorow, on January 4, 2004. It was followed by its sister spacecraft, Opportunity, and it has been a wonderful two years of exploration on Mars. Spirit reached the summit of Husband Hill in the Columbia Hills a few kilometers from its landing site and is now descending into a valley east of the summit, on the other side of the hills from its landing site. Spirits path has been long and often rugged and the number of discoveries has been spectacular. Twice recently, Spirit has even observed lunar eclipses when it observed Phobos to enter into the shadow of Mars.

Opportunity sits halfway around Mars and is treking long and hard towards a crater called "Victory". It is busy examining exposed outcrops of sedimentary rock which tells the story of the history of Mars in Meridiani Planum.

Both rovers have been on Mars for more than one Martian year and have benefited from a few solar cell cleanings thanks to the Martian winds which will certainly extend the life of both rovers. They are showing their age, yet are still able to carry out exceptional workloads as they make tracks in the Martian dust. It will be interesting to see what the 2nd Martian Year will reveal.


Blogger James said...

Have you considered the origin of Olympus Mons? Have you ever considered that the Asteroid Belt is the former surface of Mars? Have you considered that these two events are connected by the impact of a very large comet, which provided the temporary water features we now find there? I have a theory about that if you are interested. Contact me at jimjoyce@earthlink.net for more.

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