Author Topic: Mars Lives.  (Read 45791 times)

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #255 on: October 20, 2016, 07:42:30 AM »
http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1940

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0.07.2016
NASA's Opportunity Rover to Explore Mars Gully

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover will drive down a gully carved long ago by a fluid that might have been water, according to the latest plans for the 12-year-old mission. No Mars rover has done that before.

The longest-active rover on Mars also will, for the first time, visit the interior of the crater it has worked beside for the last five years. These activities are part of a two-year extended mission that began Oct. 1, the newest in a series of extensions going back to the end of Opportunity's prime mission in April 2004.

Opportunity launched on July 7, 2003 and landed on Mars on Jan. 24, 2004 (PST), on a planned mission of 90 Martian days, which is equivalent to 92.4 Earth days.
"We have now exceeded the prime-mission duration by a factor of 50," noted Opportunity Project Manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. "Milestones like this are reminders of the historic achievements made possible by the dedicated people entrusted to build and operate this national asset for exploring Mars."

Opportunity begins its latest extended mission in the "Bitterroot Valley" portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, a basin 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter that was excavated by a meteor impact billions of years ago. Opportunity reached the edge of this crater in 2011 after more than seven years of investigating a series of smaller craters. In those craters, the rover found evidence of acidic ancient water that soaked underground layers and sometimes covered the surface.

The gully chosen as the next major destination slices west-to-east through the rim about half a mile (less than a kilometer) south of the rover's current location. It is about as long as two football fields.

"We are confident this is a fluid-carved gully, and that water was involved," said Opportunity Principal Investigator Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. "Fluid-carved gullies on Mars have been seen from orbit since the 1970s, but none had been examined up close on the surface before. One of the three main objectives of our new mission extension is to investigate this gully. We hope to learn whether the fluid was a debris flow, with lots of rubble lubricated by water, or a flow with mostly water and less other material."

The team intends to drive Opportunity down the full length of the gully, onto the crater floor. The second goal of the extended mission is to compare rocks inside Endeavour Crater to the dominant type of rock Opportunity examined on the plains it explored before reaching Endeavour.

"We may find that the sulfate-rich rocks we've seen outside the crater are not the same inside," Squyres said. "We believe these sulfate-rich rocks formed from a water-related process, and water flows downhill. The watery environment deep inside the crater may have been different from outside on the plain -- maybe different timing, maybe different chemistry."

The rover team will face challenges keeping Opportunity active for another two years. Most mechanisms onboard still function well, but motors and other components have far exceeded their life expectancy. Opportunity's twin, Spirit, lost use of two of its six wheels before succumbing to the cold of its fourth Martian winter in 2010. Opportunity will face its eighth Martian winter in 2017. Use of Opportunity's non-volatile "flash" memory for holding data overnight was discontinued last year, so results of each day's observations and measurements must be transmitted that day or lost.

In the two-year extended mission that ended last month, Opportunity explored the "Marathon Valley" area of Endeavour's western rim, documenting the geological context of water-related minerals that had been mapped there from orbital observations. Last month, the rover drove through "Lewis and Clark Gap," a low point in the wall separating Marathon Valley from Bitterroot Valley. A recent color panorama from the rover features " Wharton Ridge," which extends eastward from the gap.

This week, Opportunity is investigating rock exposures next to " Spirit Mound," a prominent feature near the eastern end of Bitterroot Valley. The third main science goal of the new extended mission is to find and examine rocks from a geological layer that was in place before the impact that excavated Endeavour Crater. The science team has not yet determined whether the mound area will provide rocks that old.

Opportunity and NASA's next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, as well as three active NASA Mars orbiters, and surface missions to launch in 2018 and 2020 are steps in NASA's Journey to Mars, on track for sending humans there in the 2030s. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, built Opportunity and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. For more information about Opportunity, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/rovers
http://mars.nasa.gov/mer/






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Panorama of 'Wharton Ridge' on Mars (Enhanced Color)

Mars Rover Opportunity's Panorama of 'Wharton Ridge' (Enhanced Color)
This scene from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows "Wharton Ridge," which forms part of the southern wall of "Marathon Valley" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. In this version of the scene the landscape is presented in enhanced color to make differences in surface materials more easily visible

The full extent of Wharton Ridge is visible, with the floor of Endeavour Crater beyond it and the far wall of the crater in the distant background. Near the right edge of the scene is "Lewis and Clark Gap," through which Opportunity crossed from Marathon Valley to "Bitterroot Valley" in September 2016.

Before the rover departed Marathon Valley, its panoramic camera (Pancam) acquired the component images for this scene on Aug. 30, 2016, during the 4,480th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars.

Opportunity's science team chose the ridge's name to honor the memory of Robert A. Wharton (1951-2012), an astrobiologist who was a pioneer in the use of terrestrial analog environments, particularly in Antarctica, to study scientific problems connected to the habitability of Mars. Over the course of his career, he was a visiting senior scientist at NASA Headquarters, vice president for research at the Desert Research Institute, provost at Idaho State University, and president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

The view spans from east-northeast at left to southeast at right. Color in the scene comes from component images taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).



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'Spirit Mound' Beside Martian Crater (Enhanced Color)

This Sept. 21, 2016, scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows "Spirit Mound" overlooking the floor of Endeavour Crater. The mound stands near the eastern end of "Bitterroot Valley" on the western rim of the crater, and this view faces eastward.

'Spirit Mound' at Edge of Endeavour Crater, Mars (Enhanced Color)
This scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows "Spirit Mound" overlooking the floor of Endeavour Crater. The mound stands near the eastern end of "Bitterroot Valley" on the western rim of the crater, and this view faces eastward.

In this version of the scene the landscape is presented in enhanced color to make differences in surface materials more easily visible

For scale, the two rocks at lower center are each about 8 inches (about 20 centimeters) across. At the mound's crest line, the image covers an area about 28 feet (about 8.5 meters) wide.

The component images for this mosaic were taken on Sept. 21, 2016, during the 4,501st Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. Exposures were taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

The informal name the rover's science team chose for this feature refers to Spirit Mound in South Dakota. The team is using names of sites visited by the Lewis and Clark Expedition as informal names for features in Mars' Bitterroot Valley (named for a valley that the expedition visited in Montana).
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #256 on: October 20, 2016, 12:26:12 PM »
Great updates. The translation of scale from the orbital photos to those made on the ground still amaze me.

I still feel like I am looking at photos of the Great Basin in Nevada.

As far as the gullys and valleys on Mars, I am of the belief the larger valleys were formed when a meteor hit and caused a massive ice melt which caused enough water to flow and pool, until it either was reabsorbed and froze into the soil or evaporated when the meteoric dust cloud dispersed.

Until we get the long term gravity issue resolved, mankind will not survive on Mars for more than a year at the most. It will take more than Mark Watney's potatoes to fix it.

The ISS has proven that life in zero-g causes loss of vision in long duration space flight. Until they can find a way to resolve it, our Martian time will be very, very limited.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #257 on: October 20, 2016, 01:09:18 PM »
This is a 90 day... DAY... mission that has lasted 12 years... YEARS!  Simply effing amazing!  8)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Gunnar

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #258 on: October 20, 2016, 02:05:58 PM »
Until we get the long term gravity issue resolved, mankind will not survive on Mars for more than a year at the most. It will take more than Mark Watney's potatoes to fix it.

The ISS has proven that life in zero-g causes loss of vision in long duration space flight. Until they can find a way to resolve it, our Martian time will be very, very limited.

Mars does have a considerably lower gravity than earth (0.375 times that of earth) but not zero gravity. Radiation is probably the bigger issue.
I want to live in a society where people can voice unpopular opinions because I know that as a result of that, a society grows and matures...” — Hugh Hefner

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #259 on: October 22, 2016, 07:54:15 PM »
Until we get the long term gravity issue resolved, mankind will not survive on Mars for more than a year at the most. It will take more than Mark Watney's potatoes to fix it.

The ISS has proven that life in zero-g causes loss of vision in long duration space flight. Until they can find a way to resolve it, our Martian time will be very, very limited.

Mars does have a considerably lower gravity than earth (0.375 times that of earth) but not zero gravity. Radiation is probably the bigger issue.

Thanks Gunnar, allow me to restate, the ISS shows that human exposure to zero-g can cause eventual blindness, a fractional gravity would simply extend the period by which it would take the eyeball to deform.

I agree, radiation is a big issue, because Mars doesnt have a magnetic field like Earth, it is massively susceptible to solar flares and other extra solar radiation events.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #260 on: November 09, 2016, 10:53:48 AM »
http://www.popsci.com/ron-howard-and-brian-grazer-want-you-to-go-to-mars

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WHY RON HOWARD AND BRIAN GRAZER WANT TO TAKE YOU TO MARS
IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS OF NATGEO'S 'MARS' MINISERIES DISCUSS COLONIZING THE RED PLANET
By Sarah Fecht



If you liked The Martian and/or love Elon Musk, then National Geographic has a show for you. Half documentary and half dramatization, Mars is a six-part miniseries about colonizing the red planet, and it debuts on November 14 at 9pm Eastern.
The series relies on interviews with hotshots like astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA chief Charles Bolden, science spokesperson Neil deGrasse Tyson, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to paint a picture of what the journey to Mars could look like and how we might get there. Although many of those details haven't been settled in real life, the series makes educated guesses about humanity's interplanetary future.
Executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer previously worked together on Apollo 13, A Brilliant Mind, and From Earth to the Moon. We caught up with them to chat about why Mars captured their attention, and how it felt to make a documentary about the future instead of the past. An edited transcript follows.

Brian Grazer: Basically, Ron and I like space. Everybody likes the feeling of being transported to space. Recently, Justin Wilkes at RadicalMedia [a company that helped produce the series] came to me and said they wanted to do a movie or series about colonizing Mars. I call up Ron and said, 'What do you think of this?' And he goes 'I like it.' Within 24 hours I had lunch with Peter Rice [the CEO for Fox, which owns Nat Geo], and he just jumped on the idea. It was the fastest pitch and the fastest buy we ever had in our lifetime.
PS: Why do you think that is? Why is Mars such an appealing topic right now?
Ron Howard: There's a tipping point that's going on. It's kind of supercharged by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, and to a degree Richard Branson--high profile people who've sort of said, 'Exploration has to happen in one way, shape, or form.' Elon has been sort of the most dramatic about wanting to go all the way to Mars and make it happen. And NASA and President Obama have completely embraced this and redoubled their efforts to make that a priority. Mars is also very cinematic, and incredibly exotic, and dangerous. Everybody knows that it's going to be mankind's greatest challenge, and greatest adventure.

BG: I think the global mass culture is either consciously or unconsciously sensitized to how vulnerable we are here on the planet. And so I think this is sort of primordial to us as human beings. How do we preserve our species in the case of some kind of global catastrophe?
PS: Are you hoping that the series helps to make Mars colonization happen in real life?
BG: I'd like for people to understand what it would be like to transport ourselves to space--what that feels like, the adventure, the discoveries, and its potential outcomes of just having tremendous scientific and geopolitical importance.
RH: My motive is a close cousin to that. This is exciting to deal with--what it would take, what it would be like, what would it mean to go to Mars and colonize? I believe in the imperative to explore, so any project that I can be involved with that celebrates that, and expands people's imagination around that idea of pushing out, is one of the most positive things that I think I could be involved with.

PS: In the series, the group that leads to way to Mars is a coalition of space-faring nations and aerospace corporations. Why not just have NASA do it?
RH: We felt that the most progressive idea that we could offer would be that private resources had been pooled in an international effort to do this thing. I think we wanted to de-politicize it, and also encourage that kind of thinking, and show that great entrepreneurs are willing to do it.
PS: Compared to making movies about past events, like with Apollo 13, what was it like making a documentary of the future? Especially since many of the details about the journey to Mars haven't been finalized.
RH: There's a tremendous amount of research that's being done and it's been going on since the Apollo era. Rocket scientists have been building on that for these last 50 years. No, we don't know everything. A lot of it is conjecture. But there's a hell of a lot that they feel they're very certain of. So everything we tried to dramatize is inspired by what we've learned or through the interviews that we conducted.

BG: It axes on the same thing. It's research, it's meeting astronauts and people who are involved in space flight, in this case Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos' people. There's always research involved. In the case of Mars, one has to extrapolate on what that would look like to colonize, and so it's very different. One is interpreting an actual event, and the other is prognosticating based on speaking to experts, whether it's NASA JPL or one of these companies: what are the possibilities, what are the outcomes, what are the risks, all of those kinds of things.
RH: A great jumping off place was Stephen Petranek's book, How We'll Live On Mars. Everybody in the field thinks it's very well researched, even if they don't agree with every detail. So we worked with Stephen and utilized his book as a foundation.
PS: Would you go to Mars if you had the chance?
BG: I have a hard time just taking trans-Atlantic flights, so I don't think I have the skill set for it. Ron would probably go. I wouldn't.
RH: I wouldn't go. It's a huge commitment. But I interviewed Scott Kelly at the space station, and he said, "Well, I've spent now a year and a half in space, I don't think so." And then he waited and he said, "But if they thought they needed an old guy, I'd probably go." It's irresistible for a particular breed of human being, but I probably don't quite fall into that category.

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In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

spuwho

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #261 on: November 09, 2016, 01:43:38 PM »
I saw the promos for this and I would like to see it.

Hopefully they cover the physical risks of long term Martian stays. We have been technically able to send humans to Mars for sometime and I have no doubt about that happening. Its the physical and mental impacts that are not discussed very well at times.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #262 on: November 09, 2016, 01:46:50 PM »
Radiation, cosmic rays and bone / muscle loss are huge issues that need to be addressed and overcome...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #263 on: January 09, 2017, 01:33:01 PM »
The Spiders from Mars...  8)




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'Baby Spider': Growth of a Martian Trough Network

This sequence of three images shows the growth of a branching network of troughs carved by thawing carbon dioxide over the span of three Martian years. This process is believed to also form larger radially patterned channel features known as Martian "spiders."

The images were taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and included in a report on the first detection of such troughs persisting and growing, from one Mars year to the next.

The ground area included in this animated GIF sequence spans about 640 feet (195 meters) across, at 70 degrees south latitude, 178 degrees east longitude. The three images are excerpts from HiRISE observations ESP_014185_1095 , taken Aug. 5, 2009; ESP_023600_1095 , taken Aug. 9, 2011; and ESP_041402_1095, taken May 25, 2015. The sequence repeats multiple times.



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Possible Development Stages of Martian 'Spiders'

These five images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show different Martian features of progressively greater size and complexity, all thought to result from thawing of seasonal carbon-dioxide ice that covers large areas near Mars' south pole during winter.

The sequence illustrates possible stages in development of a type of Martian terrain called "araneiform," from Latin for spider-shaped. They range from a depression with one trough (upper left) to a broad network of "spiders" (lower right). Each image has a scale bar in meters, from 20 meters (66 feet) in the upper-left image to 300 meters (984 feet) in the lower-right one.

Each image also includes dark "fans" that result from the same thawing process. Carbon-dioxide ice, better known as "dry ice," does not occur naturally on Earth. On Mars, sheets of it cover the ground during winter in areas near both poles, including the south-polar regions with spidery terrain. The dark fans appear in these areas each spring.

Spring sunshine penetrates the ice to warm the ground underneath, causing some carbon dioxide on the bottom of the sheet to thaw into gas. The trapped gas builds pressure until a crack forms in the ice sheet. Gas erupts out, and gas beneath the ice rushes toward the vent, picking up particles of sand and dust. This erodes the ground and also supplies the geyser with particles that fall back to the surface, downwind, and appear as the dark spring fans.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #264 on: April 27, 2017, 08:08:10 AM »
The intrepid rover Opportunity keeps chugging along... this dusty creaky old rover has moved another half mile since my last update and I suspect it will remain in this general location for the next 6 months at least as there is a lot to look at in this new area called Perseverance Valley.  8)

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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Opportunity Nears 'Perseverance Valley' - sols 4692-4698, April 05, 2017-April 11, 2017:
Opportunity is continuing the drive south to 'Perseverance Valley' on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover drove on Sols 4693 and 4695 (April 6 and April 8, 2017), covering 46 feet (14.11 meters) and 138 feet (41.94 meters), respectively and is now within 0.2 miles (350 meters) of the valley. Targeted Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images were taken before each drive with Navigation Camera (Navcam) and Pancam panoramas collected after the drives. Color clast surveys of the ground were performed on Sols 4692, 4694 and 4696 (April 5, April 7 and April 9, 2017). On Sol 4697 (April 10, 2017), the robotic arm was used to collect a Microscopic Imager (MI) of an exposed outcrop target. The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) was placed on the same target for a multi-hour integration.

As of Sol 4698 (April 11, 2017), the solar array energy production was 414 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.996 and a solar array dust factor of 0.596.

Total odometry is 27.59 miles (44.41 kilometers).





In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #265 on: May 12, 2017, 07:48:01 AM »
https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/status.html#opportunity

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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Opportunity Reaches 'Perseverance Valley' - sols 4719 - 4725, May 3, 2017 - May 9, 2017:
Opportunity has arrived at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The next step on Sol 4720 (May 4, 2017), was a short approach of 39 feet (12 meters) to the northern end of the "spillway" that overtops into Perseverance. From this vantage point, the rover has been engaged in multiple-sol collection of extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) panoramas all around the rover. This is to document the spillway notch, as well as, the morphology of the channel that enters into the spillway, along with more distant features.

Early on the morning of Sol 4721 (May 5, 2017), Opportunity was able to capture with the Pancam camera a transit of the Martian moon, Phobos across the sun.

As of Sol 4725 (May 9, 2017), the solar array energy production was 391 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.893 and a solar array dust factor of 0.554.

Total odometry is 27.80 miles (44.74 kilometers).

In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #266 on: May 19, 2017, 10:28:47 AM »
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Opportunity Takes in the View from the Top of 'Perseverance Valley' - sols 4726 - 4732, May 10, 2017 - May 16, 2017:
Opportunity is at the top of "Perseverance Valley" on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The current plan is to survey the valley below in order to generate a digital elevation map for route planning down the valley.

On Sols 4726 to 4729 (May 10 and May 13, 2017), the rover conducted an extensive Panoramic Camera (Pancam) survey, collecting more than two dozen multi-color frames. Then, on Sol 4730 (May 14, 2017), Opportunity drove north with a 74-feet (22.7-meter) dogleg to reach a promontory that overlooks the valley below. From this location, the rover is collecting one "eye" of a long-baseline stereo survey.

On Sols 4731 and 4732 (May 15 and May 16, 2017), Pancam long-baseline stereo imaging was collected. After this long-baseline imaging campaign is complete, Opportunity will commence a walk-about of the region around the top of the valley spillway.

As of Sol 4732 (May 16, 2017), the solar array energy production was 384 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 0.870 and a solar array dust factor of 0.547.

Total odometry is 27.82 miles (44.77 kilometers).


In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

BridgeTroll

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Re: Mars Lives.
« Reply #267 on: May 30, 2017, 09:19:49 AM »
Very cool video...  8)

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A tour of Mars assembled from NASA images reveals a wondrous but uninviting planet

Since it first began orbiting Mars in 2006, the HiRISE (High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), a powerful camera attached to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, has captured some 50,000 images of the planet. Its photographs have given scientists unprecedented access to Mars’s canyons, craters, mountains and sand dunes – the most detailed looks at the topography of another planet to date. In making A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars, the Finnish filmmaker Jan Fröjdman transformed stereoscopic anaglyphs taken by HiRISE into coloured, seemingly three-dimensional moving images, giving viewers something resembling the experience of a leisurely flight above our neighbouring planet. While often breathtaking, the video depicts unmistakably desolate, barren landscapes, hostile to human life, and still very far from a place to call home.

Director: Jan Fröjdman

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/bTFoaycB8ps?ecver=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/bTFoaycB8ps?ecver=1</a>




In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."