[meteorite-list] Video Documents Three-Year Trek on Mars by NASA Rover
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 13:59:41 -0700 (PDT)
Video Documents Three-Year Trek on Mars by NASA Rover
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
October 10, 2011
While NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was traveling from
Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, between September 2008 and August
2011, the rover team took an end-of-drive image on each Martian day that
included a drive. A new video compiles these 309 images, providing an
historic record of the three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles (21
kilometers) across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.
The video featuring the end-of-drive images is now available online, at
It shows the rim of Endeavour becoming visible on the horizon partway
through the journey and growing larger as Opportunity neared that goal.
The drive included detours, as Opportunity went around large expanses of
treacherous terrain along the way.
The rover team also produced a sound track for the video, using each
drive day's data from Opportunity's accelerometers. The low-frequency
data has been sped up 1,000 times to yield audible frequencies.
"The sound represents the vibrations of the rover while moving on the
surface of Mars," said Paolo Bellutta, a rover planner at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who has plotted many of
Opportunity's drives and coordinated production of the video. "When the
sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock. When the sound is
softer, the rover was moving on sand."
Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit, completed their three-month
prime missions on Mars in April 2004. Both rovers continued for years of
bonus, extended missions. Both have made important discoveries about wet
environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting
microbial life. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010. Opportunity
continues its work at Endeavour. NASA will launch the next-generation
Mars rover, car-size Curiosity, this autumn, for arrival at Mars' Gale
crater in August 2012.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena,
manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for the NASA Science Mission
Directorate, Washington. More information about the rovers is online at:
http://www.nasa.gov/rovers and http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov . You can
also follow the mission on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/marsrovers and on Twitter at
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov
Received on Tue 11 Oct 2011 04:59:41 PM PDT