[FPSPACE] FW: Cornell Chronicle: Mars briefing
ljk4 at msn.com
Fri Oct 6 19:18:58 EDT 2006
>From: Cornell Chronicle Online <cunews at cornell.edu>
>Reply-To: Cornell Chronicle Online <cunews at cornell.edu>
>To: CUNEWS-PHYSICAL_SCIENCE-L at cornell.edu (CUNEWS-PHYSICAL_SCIENCE-L),
>CUNEWS-SCIENCE-L at cornell.edu (CUNEWS-SCIENCE-L)
>Subject: Cornell Chronicle: Mars briefing
>Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 17:44:26 -0400
>News from Chronicle Online
>Cornell's Squyres and Bell introduce Mars crater with a stunning view and a
>perspective of the past
>Oct. 6, 2006
>By Lauren Gold
>LG34 at cornell.edu
>"And how about that view?!?"
>That was Cornell's Steve Squyres' question, posted in his blog last week
>after the Mars rover Opportunity rolled up to the edge of Victoria Crater
>on Sept. 27.
>On Friday (Oct. 6), as NASA held a press conference to unveil the latest
>images, the world got to see even more of what he was talking about.
>At the Washington, D.C., briefing at NASA headquarters, the space agency's
>administrator Michael Griffin introduced Squyres, the principal
>investigator for the space agency's Mars Exploration Rover mission and
>Cornell's Goldwin Smith Professor of Planetary Science; and Jim Bell,
>Cornell associate professor of astronomy and lead scientist for the rover's
>panoramic camera (pancam).
>And Squyres and Bell introduced the breathtaking views.
>Also at the briefing were Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars
>Exploration program, and Alfred McEwen, Arizona State University astronomer
>and principal investigator for the imaging instrument on the Mars
>Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The MRO just arrived on the scene for a
>five-year mission and is surveying the planet from 275 kilometers (171
>miles) above its surface, giving the rover team a spectacular aerial
>Victoria Crater, at about a half-mile wide and 200 feet deep, offers an
>unprecedented look back into Martian history. By analyzing its layers upon
>layers of rock with Opportunity's scientific payload, researchers hope to
>find clues about what the environment was like on the planet billions of
>years ago and how it has changed over time.
> But first, said Squyres, the rover team needs to find a safe way into the
>crater -- and a safe way out. That means spending a little time
>circumnavigating the rim and planning strategy. Also, the team has about a
>week to get the rover into position for conjunction, the period of several
>weeks when Mars passes behind the sun and communication between Earth and
>the twin rovers Opportunity and Spirit is limited.
>"We still have a lot to do," said Bell. "For me this week has sort of felt
>like opening a book -- maybe a mystery novel. And you read the first few
>lines, the first few pages, and you're hooked. ... I'm totally hooked, as
>so many on the team are. And really looking forward to reading the rest of
>So stay tuned, he added. The pancam images are still coming, albeit slowly
>as Mars creeps behind the sun. (Find them at
>Check out the MRO image, too -- not just of the giant crater with its
>rippled edge; but also of the little dark smudge on the rim, and the tiny
>light dot beside the smudge.
>That's Opportunity (and her shadow), 200 million miles from Earth, perched
>on the tip of Cape Verde on day 960 of her 90-day mission.
>Take in the scenery.
>And how about that view?
>312 College Ave.
>Ithaca, NY 14850
>cunews at cornell.edu
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