Mars landers spirit and opportunity
Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet by Steve SquyresSteve Squyres is the face and voice of NASAs Mars Exploration Rover mission. Squyres dreamed up the mission in 1987, saw it through from conception in 1995 to a successful landing in 2004, and serves as the principal scientist of its $400 million payload. He has gained a rare inside look at what it took for rovers Spirit and Opportunity to land on the red planet in January 2004--and knows firsthand their findings.
“WELCOME TO MARS” (documentary)
Opportunity and Spirit Mars Rovers
Mars Exploration Rover , either of a pair of U. The mission of each rover was to study the chemical and physical composition of the surface at various locations in order to help determine whether water had ever existed on the planet and to search for other signs that the planet might have supported some form of life. The twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched on June 10 and July 7, , respectively. Spirit touched down in Gusev crater on January 3, Three weeks later, on January 24, Opportunity landed in a crater on the equatorial plain called Meridiani Planum, on the opposite side of the planet.
NASA's record-breaking Opportunity rover may be gone, but its legacy is assured. And run is an apt term, for Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, were the first truly mobile Mars explorers. Before the solar-powered duo touched down in January , humanity had successfully dropped just four spacecraft on the Martian surface: the Soviet Union's stationary Mars 3 lander in which ceased functioning just seconds after touchdown , NASA's similarly sessile Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers in , and the U. Pathfinder included a little rover called Sojourner , but that microwave-oven-size robot traveled a total of just feet meters during its pioneering operational life. Spirit and Opportunity, on the other hand, chewed up miles and miles of red dirt. Spirit and Opportunity landed a few weeks apart, in different Red Planet locales.
"Miracle" mission to Mars
Powered by a bank of solar cells on its upper surface, each Mars Exploration Rover MER has advanced communication capabilities that allow it to keep in touch with orbiting probes and directly with Earth. Cameras Each rover is equipped with a Pancam short for Panoramic Camera , and each Pancam contains two digital cameras. Set 30 cm Each camera in the Pancam has a CCD charged-coupled device sensor with a x pixel array. That's a total of one megapixel—low resolution compared to today's consumer camera specs!
All rights reserved. Twin versions of this rover, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in and arrived at different sites on Mars in January After more than 14 years driving across the surface of Mars, the NASA rover Opportunity has fallen silent—marking the end of a defining mission to another world. At a press conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, NASA bid farewell to the rover it placed on Mars on January 25, before Facebook, before the iPhone, and even before some of the scientists now in charge of it graduated high school. In its record-breaking time on Mars, the rover drove more than 28 miles, finding some of the first definitive signs of past liquid water on the red planet's surface. NASA had not heard from the rover since June , when one of the most severe dust storms ever observed on Mars blotted out much of the red planet's sky and overtook the solar-powered rover. Initially, the storm didn't give the team pause.