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The Sciences

MRO watches Spirit roam Mars

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMarch 25, 2008 2:01 AM


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Emily has a fantastic animation showing views of the Mars rover Spirit as it roves over Gusev Crater. The images were taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and it's a must-see. She also has news that to feed the Mars Research Lab, NASA has to gut other Mars missions. This is bad news, and she has links to more info.

Edited to add: within a minute of posting that, I received word that it's worse than I thought: Spirit will have to be switched off for the Martian winter (it was scheduled to sit still but do atmospheric measurements), and Opportunity will have to be reigned in as well. NASA is in a very tight spot, but I can't help but think that nickel-and-diming successful missions is a mistake.

UPDATE: Looks like a letter to NASA sent by JPL scientists last week has turned the tide: NASA won't shut down the rovers. That's fantastic! But I wonder where that money will come from now...

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