Another Martian Opportunity

Wow! The Martian rovers made the Washington Post yet again. Opportunity was on the front page on Monday and made page 3 yesterday!  This is TOO COOL!

After an arduous 21-month journey, the Mars rover Opportunity edged close enough to the rim of a large crater yesterday to send back its first photos of the bottom and rocky sides of the dramatic site. What they showed left researchers increasingly confident that their robotic explorer had reached a scientific gold mine that will dramatically increase their understanding of the planet’s history.

NASA scientists said the rover came within about 15 feet of Victoria Crater’s rim and was scheduled to climb over a small sand dune last night and stop right at the crater’s edge.

I’ve been following these little guys for what seems like forever. Well, at least since they landed. I try to stop by the homepage about once a week and check how things are going. I also pick up a fair amount of background information watching the Bad Astronomy or the Planetary Society blogs.

What NASA does so much better then ESA is information dumping. You can access all the raw images as soon as they are downloaded. Sure this has caused some marsbats (sorry couldn’t resist) to think there were dust bunnies on Mars, but for me, it is just too cool to be able to see exactly what is going on in almost real time. The only thing missing is a slightly more ‘personal’ mission blog, perhaps from the interns working on the project.

After looking at Mars, why not take another short hop and go look at the beautiful pictures NASA keeps taking of Saturn.

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