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One Mars Probe Photographs Another

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the pictoral-history dept.

146

sighted writes "In one of the more remarkable shots ever taken by robotic space explorers, the Opportunity Mars rover has been photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter ." From the article: "Shown in the image are 'Duck Bay,' the eroded segment of the crater rim where Opportunity first arrived at the crater; 'Cabo Frio,' a sharp promontory to the south of Duck Bay; and 'Cape Verde,' another promontory to the north. When viewed at the highest resolution, this image shows the rover itself, wheel tracks in the soil behind it, and the rover's shadow, including the shadow of the camera mast. After this image was taken, Opportunity moved to the very tip of Cape Verde to perform more imaging of the interior of the crater."

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146 comments

Happens Once in a Red Mars (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340171)

Yeah, I know how the probes feel, every now and then I'll run into one of my grade school classmates thousands of miles away from where we went to school.

We shake hands and take pictures of each other.

I wonder if the probes experience the same awkward silence after you've asked them how they're doing and feign interest about what they've been up to. I'll bet they both broke out, "Well, I'll let you go, you must be so busy and what with having the whole rest of the planet to photograph....but it was nice meeting you! And out here of all places! I mean with you an orbiter and I a rover, who would have thought we would have been assigned to the same planet?! It's a small universe afterall!"

Re:Happens Once in a Red Mars (0, Offtopic)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340319)

Meanwhile,
Do you want me to sit in the corner and rust, or just fall apart where I'm standing?

Re:Happens Once in a Red Mars (1)

QuasarBlazar (1010223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341783)

Psh the land rover is probably glad to be photographing anything, he was supposed to only live for 3 months.

Re:Happens Once in a Red Mars (1)

Kris_B_04 (883011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342075)

This too, is true.... ;)

Re: Photographing themselves (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342265)

An analysis of probe communications reveals that they are now uploading their pictures of each other to their MySpace profiles.
Look, they even used that cliched "MySpace angle" where you shoot the camera down from above.

Moo (3, Funny)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340173)

Opportunity Mars rover: I can't believe it, it's like a dream. What's wrong?
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: I just had a terrible thought: what if this is a dream?
Opportunity Mars rover: Well then photograph me quick before you wake up.

Impressive resolution (2, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340185)

Wow, impressive resolution for such a remote platform. Of course the resolution of the current US spy satellites is about three times better (10cm optimal), but those things are the size of a school bus and regardless, it is impressive what you can see with 30cm resolution.

Does anybody know if the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter is limited to the visible spectrum, or does it have multispectral capabilities?

P.S. I am sure the Google folks will want these data to update Google Mars. :-)

Re:Impressive resolution (3, Informative)

symie5 (1001116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340477)

Wow, impressive resolution for such a remote platform. Of course the resolution of the current US spy satellites is about three times better (10cm optimal), but those things are the size of a school bus and regardless, it is impressive what you can see with 30cm resolution.


I'm willing to bet US spy (esp. military) satellites can have much better resolution than 10cm...I work for a GIS company, and we often work with satellite imagery at 5cm resolution. I believe, by the way, the MRO does have multispectral capabilities (seven-channel, from ultraviolet to near-infrared).

Re:Impressive resolution (2, Interesting)

mopomi (696055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340677)

Try 544 channels at ~18 m/pixel.

http://crism.jhuapl.edu/instrument/innoDesign.php [jhuapl.edu]

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

symie5 (1001116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340851)

Am I thinking of the same hardware as you? I'm talking about the MRO Mars Color Imager...

Here [msss.com]

Re:Impressive resolution (0)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340889)

I seriously doubt the US spy satellites can get much better than 10cm with optics as we are now pushing the limits of theoretical optical resolution there (do the math). If you are working with 5cm resolution, those data are not coming from satellites, but rather airborne platforms. Perhaps you mean 5m resolution?

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

symie5 (1001116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340977)

No, it's 5cm satellite imagery. :) Amazing stuff, believe me. I was stunned when I first saw the HUGE files in such incredible detail.

Re:Impressive resolution (0)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341093)

I don't buy it...... sorry, but my understanding of physics precludes that possibility. Can you send me a link/reference?

Re:Impressive resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341121)

Google for "adaptive optics." There are no theoretical limits to what you can do with AO, to my knowledge. It just depends on the collector area you're willing to devote to the problem.

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341205)

Adaptive optics work great for telescopes looking out into space, since you have stars that are effectively point sources that you can use to tell you what kind of correction to apply. If you don't have a star nearby, you can use a laser to generate one in the upper atmosphere. It's won't be a point source, but it's still small enough to help you determine how to move the mirrors. How would one determine how to correct the image when looking down from space?

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341327)

Google for "adaptive optics." There are no theoretical limits to what you can do with AO, to my knowledge. It just depends on the collector area you're willing to devote to the problem.

I am familiar with adaptive optics (IAAVS I Am A Vision Scientist), and am familiar with David Williams work, but to my knowledge: 1) No adaptive optics have yet been fielded in a space craft, certainly not a commercial imaging satellite. 2) The amount of space required for imaging at beyond 10cm resolution from space at Earth based objects would be prohibitive given the current lift vehicles in inventory. Most adaptive optics systems are ground based (Starfire) due to size and precise control necessary, but if you can provide me with some references on airborne or space based adaptive optics systems, I'll consider myself corrected.

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

Xeger (20906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342347)

Don't forget, kids, that Mars has virtual no atmosphere and is significantly smaller and less massive than Terra. Has anyone checked the Mars satellite's orbital radius? I'd be willing to bet that the "theoretical maximum" of 10cm resolution assumes an Earth satellite in low Earth orbit.

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

symie5 (1001116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341271)

Our largest contracts are military...I wish I could send you more (seriously, I do), but I would like to keep my job. :)

By the way, I like your site (simple, well organized...very satisfying design).

Re:Impressive resolution (0, Offtopic)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341397)

By the way, I like your site (simple, well organized...very satisfying design).

Thanks. I've tried to keep it simple with no ads to clutter the experience.

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

Zarquon (1778) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341745)

The current highest resolution commercial satellite imagery is 60 cm/pixel or so, from QuickBird-2. Eros B1 does 70 cm; IKONOS, OrbView-3 and some others do 1m. These are all nadir resolutions, of course. If you image further from the satellite path, your resolution suffers accordingly.

There are plans for 40 and 50 cm birds (GeoEye-1, Worldview-1/2) but they haven't been launched yet.

If you're working with commercial 5 cm data, you're working with aerial photography, not satellite imagery, and 5 cm is on the high end for that. Most users around here consider 30-cm (1 foot) data as high end.

If you meant 5m satellite data, that's pretty common.

Re:Impressive resolution (1)

symie5 (1001116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341969)

It's not commercial data. I'm aware of the capabilities of the working hardware you mentioned.

BTW, thanks for the tidbit on the plans for GeoEye-1 and Worldview-1/2; I wasn't aware of them. :)

Re:Impressive resolution (3, Insightful)

hubie (108345) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342217)

The pictures are amazing, but not within the context of spy satellites. The MRO orbit is only 250 to 300 km above the surface, which isn't even considered a LEO orbit on Earth.

Let's see, 30 cm resolution at 300 km works out to be a microradian angular resolution. Hubble has a resolution of 0.1 arcsec, which is like 0.5 microradians, so I suppose if you put Hubble at MRO's orbit then it would see about a factor of two better, whereas a naively one might assume a factor of 4.8 times better given that the aperture sizes on Hubble and HIRISE are 2.4 and 0.5 meters respectively. That is probably a bit of apples to oranges because I don't know in what context the Hubble resolution is. The HIRISE says it is 30 cm per pixel at 300 km, but the Hubble number I found just states it as the basic telescope resolution without mentioning whether they are talking about an Airy disk size, Rayleigh criterion, or whatever. For what it is worth, both the basic Hubble (without instruments) and HIRISE both run at f/24, so their blur spots would be comparable, so if you put the same detector behind them, they would have the same resolution.

Full View (5, Informative)

dankstick (788385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340187)

Maybe Beagle is next... (0)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340189)

And the other rovers can jack it and strip it for parts to keep themselves going.

Depression (5, Insightful)

joerdie (816174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340195)

This makes me sad. We now have so much equipment over there doing all this great stuff and no people. I wish there could be another space race. (without the threat of nukes.)

Re:Depression (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340339)

This makes me happy. We're not wasting many billions of dollars on another "Gee, whiz, we went there!" action before we have brought launch costs down enough to make a Mars base sustainable in the long-run. Instead, we're using extremely effective robotic probes for the tiniest fraction of the cost as a stopgap.

Re:Depression (3, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341547)

Wasting billions of dollars? You have a strange idea of where money goes. Those billions of dollars that if spent on a space race would ultimately increase the size of our economy (national and global) by up to three fold (if I remember my Econ 101 class correctly). That amplifies the affect of the money and really allows that money to now benefit many more people, that it would if we spent it directly on, say, some kind of welfare assistance. Of course it's the disparity that we should worry about. But still. It's not like our money goes into space with the rockets.

Re:Depression (1)

njchick (611256) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341725)

That only works as intended is a very strong economy compared to the rest of the world. Otherwise, the taxes are increased and the business goes to better places, like China. You are left with companies that can produce Mars rockets, but cannot produce even simplest things for a competitive price. And please don't forget the internal debt.

Re:Depression (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342003)

And you , sir, have a strange idea of economics...

Re:Depression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16342079)

We're not wasting many billions of dollars on another "Gee, whiz, we went there!" action

Yeah, who want's to go to another Iraq.

Re:Depression (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340601)

Actually, the threat of nukes is already here and several nations are warming up for the space race. The only question remaining to be answered is whether the US will be able to afford to participate by the time it happens.

Will this change Opportunity's plans? (4, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340233)

Ok, I'll admit, my first thought on seeing the picture was Oh. My. Gawd. That's a picture of something we put on another *planet*, a little red dot in the sky. Then I started rummaging through the stock phrases about the future of Man and stuff like that.

But one actual question that comes to mind -- now that the Opportunity team has high-resolution pictures of their baby's room, will they change where they send him to play? For example, could they see that rock just south of the dark "Cape Verde" formation? And looking back, if they'd had pictures like these to work with, would they have approached the crater from a different angle?

Re:Will this change Opportunity's plans? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340499)

But one actual question that comes to mind -- now that the Opportunity team has high-resolution pictures of their baby's room, will they change where they send him to play? For example, could they see that rock just south of the dark "Cape Verde" formation? And looking back, if they'd had pictures like these to work with, would they have approached the crater from a different angle?

I would assume the Rover teams are using the best imagery to hand - and MRO is only one source of that imagery. We've been photographing Mars off and on for forty years now.

Re:Will this change Opportunity's plans? (1)

mopomi (696055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340713)

I'm not sure of whether they would have approached from a different angle, but they've already used the HiRISE images to plan their trek to where Opportunity is now (it's no longer in the spot as seen in the HiRISE image).

Re:Will this change Opportunity's plans? (2, Interesting)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340847)

Would they change where they send him to play? Probably not. Current planning has been conducted based on images taken my the Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor probes. The best images of the area from those probes are around 1/4 the resolution (1-2 meters/pixel) if I remember right. Still, they show the major features and led to the decision to try to reach the crater.

If you look at the path the rover took from Endurance crater to Victoria, it's pretty much a straight line. The goal for the last 6 months was just to get there. The rover has been running for 10 times as long as needed to be considered a successful mission, and almost 3 times as long as even the most optimistic estimates (they had to get a special budget approval for the operations team after the end of the first year...after two planned-for operational budget extensions).

Even if they had more confidence in the continued longevity of Opportunity, they probably still wouldn't have changed the course much. First, Duck Bay looks like a potentially excellent entrance to the crater, so it's a good place to begin observations. Second, Victoria is half a mile across (1.5 miles around). In a little under 3 years, they've accrued a total of about 5 miles of driving. The further around they start their approach, the longer they have to wait for really detailed pictures that will allow them to pick the true points of interest.

This picture is way cool. I remember way back when they first landed and the MGS caught a picture of the rovers. It was single-spectrum (B&W), and you could see 3 or 4 darker grey pixels that were labeled as the rover, half a dozen or so pixels labeled as the lander, and a sparse string of very slightly darker pixels that seemed to nearly line up labeled as the rover tracks. In this picture you can actually see what direction it's pointed and just barely make out the white stripe of the camera mast.

Taking pictures of the car... (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340271)

Interesting how the some of the most popular photos from these missions are pictures of other man-made objects. Think of the ratings if there were actual people there! Nasa could fund their mission on the ad revenue...

-Isaac

 

Re:Taking pictures of the car... (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340335)

Think of the ratings if there were actual people there!

Is she sunbathing nude?

KFG

Re:Taking pictures of the car... (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340455)

On Mars, that'd get you a real killer tan...

Re:Taking pictures of the car... (2, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340377)

Interesting how the some of the most popular photos from these missions are pictures of other man-made objects.

Considering how NASA is consistently at the short end of the federal budgeting stick, would the agency do better as a private foundation funded by sending out probes decked out like something out of NASCAR?

Re:Taking pictures of the car... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341023)

Sort of like this? [space.com]

Re:Taking pictures of the car... (1)

lynxpardinus (939498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341851)

ad revenue.... you mean like putting viagra stickers on the rovers and then take pictures of them? :)

red rover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340289)

It's nice to know what red rover looks like from space...

Wow! (5, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340307)

It's fantastic that eggheads can find that teeny tiny rover on all the face of Mars when on most nights I have a hard time finding the ignition in my car after I leave the bar.

mods on crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340413)

hey, mods, you don't have to give it a +1 funny if you didn't find it funny, but there's no reason to go -1 offtopic if it is, in fact, a joke about the topic of the article

Re:Wow! (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340827)

It's fantastic that eggheads can find that teeny tiny rover on all the face of Mars when on most nights I have a hard time finding the ignition in my car after I leave the bar.

If they can do this maybe they will finally find Beagle 2?

Haven't you seen the trailers? (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341429)

We all now know it was smashed by a Transformer :-)

Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340315)

Think they might take a gander at the last known location of the Beagle? ... just to see if it impacted or fell over ...

Re:Great news! (1)

zulater (635326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340621)

or got stomped on by transformers.

Proof! (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340325)

Finally Proof of intelligence. On another planet.
(Robot is proof of intelligence, and its on another planet, the sentences don't necessarily have to be linked.)

Re:Proof! (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340357)

Perhaps it got to Mars the same way we got to Earth.

Re:Proof! (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340403)

Perhaps it got to Mars the same way we got to Earth.

If so, what was our planned operational lifetime? And will we exceed expectations?

Re:Proof! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340809)

"And will we exceed expectations?"

every day.

Re:Proof! (1)

greenegg77 (718749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340837)

Perhaps it got to Mars the same way we got to Earth.

If so, what was our planned operational lifetime? And will we exceed expectations?

I hope not. My body already sounds like a box of Rice Krispies...

Re:Proof! (2, Funny)

trongey (21550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340525)

Finally Proof of intelligence. On another planet.
(Robot is proof of intelligence, and its on another planet, the sentences don't necessarily have to be linked.)

I'll give you partial credit for the "on another planet" part. No points for proof of intelligence, because there's strong evidence that the robot was built by humans.

Re:Proof! (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341723)

-Atheist: someone who's too lazy to get up at 8:00 on the weekend.

By eight o'clock I'm usually at about the 11th tee. Although I have to admit, God has probably been mentioned several times by then, one way or another ;-)

Re:Proof! (2, Interesting)

sighted (851500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340637)

That's an interesting observation. I don't know if there was ever life on Mars before, but there is now (at least in proxy). That rover is probably the only thing moving on that plain, perhaps ever. It reminds me of the end of The Martian Chronicles, when the family looks into the canal to see the Martians, and their own reflections look back at them.

All in a day's work. (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340373)

"Morning, Sam."

"Morning, Ralph."

Re:All in a day's work. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340779)

excellent reference.
well done.

Re:All in a day's work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341393)

To what is that a reference? I know I've heard it before but can't seem to recall.

Re:All in a day's work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341505)

I believe it was a reference to a Looney Tunes cartoon, where 1 character is punching out and the other is punching in for the morning.

Re:All in a day's work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341749)

And it's a wolf and a sheepdog, too; the wolf tries to eat the sheep and fails in comical ways as the sheepdog foils his plans.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340607)

Another of these made-up photos to show we really went to space.
Bah!! Everything is a conspiracy, sonny.
There is no Mars or Moon or anything.
Everything is made up, I tell ya.

More disturbing would have been (3, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340609)

if the tracks had spelled out "When Can I Come Home?"

Re:More disturbing would have been (1)

lgarner (694957) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340651)

Or if it was on blocks. I'm remembering a pretty cool ad (for a soft drink, I think).

Re:More disturbing would have been (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340829)

maybe if it had an Intergalactic Parking Ticket ... now that would have been fun ...

Re:More disturbing would have been (1)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341291)

> if the tracks had spelled out "When Can I Come Home?"

Yeah, no kidding. That would be really creepy. It's a good thing they only spell out "When can I co".

Hey......

Virg

A Better Image IMO (4, Informative)

sasserstyl (973208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340681)

Re:A Better Image IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340903)

IMHO the parent links the most beautiful pictures the space program has ever produced.
I have already ordered a poster.

Re:A Better Image IMO (1)

Bob_Villa (926342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341051)

That is amazing! I just wonder how something like that could have formed. Was it from a massive asteriod impact or something else?

When I first saw it I thought back to Star Wars and the sand pits, but this is much, much bigger. How cool would it be if people could actually be there checking that out close up? I mean, any geek or aspiring space pioneer without a wife/husband and kids would probably gladly accept a one way ticket to see these things close up and to be the first human on Mars.

Re:A Better Image IMO (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341581)

That is amazing! I just wonder how something like that could have formed.
It looks to me as if the surface is more solid then the sand in the crater (the pattern in the middle looks like loose sand being blown around) and winds moving sand from under the edges of the crater making this jaggy outline by the underground being rendered too loos to support the surface, and having it break off.

The picture is just mesmerizing...

Re:A Better Image IMO (1)

chrisb33 (964639) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341675)

Incredible picture - anyone else play "where's waldo" and try to find the rover? (Hint - look at the original picture to get a rough idea of where on the circle it's located)

Moon Probe (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340793)

Would be nice if they could get such a probe to the moon and then we would be able to show people that the Eagle really had landed.

Re:Moon Probe (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340797)

Actually, I do believe that you can get imagery of the moon landing from terrestrial observatories.

Re:Moon Probe (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340987)

And even if you can't, I'm sure I could fake something for ya.

Re:Moon Probe (3, Informative)

Ars Dilbert (852117) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341363)

No, we can't do that. The Apollo artifacts left on the Moon are just too small. Even the mighty Hubble does not have the resolution necessary to resolve Apollo stuff.

The ESA lunar probe SMART-1 was in lunar orbit for a while, and it too was not able to resolve Apollo landing sites. But SMART-1 did capture lunar terrain in detail never before possible, except for the pictures taken on the surface of the moon by the Apollo astronauts. The terrain matched the Apollo pictures perfectly, so yeah we've been there. Not that *I've* ever had any doubt.

Re:Moon Probe (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342077)

Well, Opportunity is about the size of a golf cart. The lunar rover(s) would be about maybe twice the size of the Mars rovers. The LEM descent stage would (I guess) be about four times the size of that. We should be able to see something. Clementine could have been retasked. However, in a year or two, when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter gets there, we will have nice crisp photos.

Re:Moon Probe (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341303)

Sometimes I think it's more appropriate to allow people to wallow in their own stupidity.

--
"Stay The Course"
        Captain Edward John Smith -- 11:38 April 14, 1912

Re:Moon Probe (2, Insightful)

mh101 (620659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341687)

I don't think even that would convince everyone.

They'd simply argue that the probe's launch was actually just another routine launch, and with the state of today's CG capabilities, it would be a piece of cake to fake footage.

The only way to prove it to those people would be to actually send them there in person.

Re:Moon Probe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341963)

Pff, send me to the moon, and I'll just accuse you of drugging me and putting me in a VR simulation of the moon! I'm a hardcore skeptic.

That's not what disturbs me... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16340879)

This doesn't disturb me so much as that tilted rectangular shape that's in the lower right of the picture. I understand random distribution means we might have unpredictable instances of order, but that thing looks almost like a parking lot. Anybody else intrigued/worried about it?

wow... (4, Funny)

Simon Thulbourn (854757) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340891)

Wow, I can view Mars in better detail than I can my own freaking house on Google Maps...

Re:wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341523)

Try http://local.live.com/ [live.com] If your house is in a "Bird's Eye" area you can see yourself in the back yard ;)

Re:wow... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342237)

That shoud be all the proof you need to say that the Mars photo is fake.

One Mars Probe Probes Another? (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340899)

Oh - "One Mars Probe Photographs Another. . ."

My bad.

The picture is impressive... (4, Funny)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16340919)

but it is more impressive that Opportunity is still working years after its original mission was expected to end. I know both rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, are showing their age, but still to continue to function two and half years past their "warranty" as NASA calls is so cool. In the time since they landed on Mars I've moved three times, changed cities, broke up with two girlfriends, changed jobs and done time for molesting a goat.

Re:The picture is impressive... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16341275)

Yeah, goes to show you... Build a bridge and no one calls you Sammy the Bridge Builder. Kill the giant that's been harrassing your village and no one calls you Sammy the Giant Slayer. Halt Syndrome from destroying the world and no one calls you Sammy the Saviour of the Realm. But f*ck one goat...

(yeah I know, old joke)

Re:The picture is impressive... (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341519)

That's nothing. I'm told Pioneer 10 has a fifty-year warranty which it is nowhere near the end of yet.

Repairs are on a return-to-manufacturer basis, of course, that's why it was so cheap

Re:The picture is impressive... (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341535)

Don't lie, you didn't have two girlfriends, you slashdot freak. ;)

Re:The picture is impressive... (0, Offtopic)

presidentbeef (779674) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341767)

Considering his last statement...maybe they were goats.

Fantastic! (0)

penrodyn (927177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341161)

It's amazing what we can do when we try, would it be great if we could spend just 10% of what we spend in Iraq (50 billion) on more unmanned space probes! There is so much out there to discover and so inspiring for our young people to get in to science and technology = and Maintain our technological lead in the world

Re:Fantastic! (1)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341541)

Europa [wikipedia.org] , for instance.

The day NASA slashed funding for exploring that moon was a dark day, indeed.

For example... just look at this thing [wikipedia.org] !
Okay, it probably wouldn't look like that in the end and it was nowhere near even having the design finalized, but that rendition there is incredible.

There are dozens of missions that could be sent to Europa, and if NASA gave them the resources they could do some startling stuff.
Seeing the first (hopefully) underwater images of a distant moon would be far more interesting than watching some guy playing golf and quoting Neil Armstrong on our moon.

Re:Fantastic! (1)

QuasarBlazar (1010223) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342207)

Yea, but if we do that where are we going to get our oil?

Lost European rover? (1)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341733)

We should be able to get some very definitive pictures of the lost European rover with this thing. When are we going to get those?

Going into the crater (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16341827)

Duck bay looks like a good place to try because of what looks like a little break (or slip?) in the scarp just below (in the picture) the location of the rover. I haven't seen any estimates yet of the slope in that part of the crater, nor of the type of material which will be found there.

I am sure there will be a lot of analysis done before they try. Lets hope it goes well. I wouldn't like to see Opportunity turn over while descending on a too steep slope.

Notice the filled in crater on the left. (0, Offtopic)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16342071)

If you look at the left hand side of the photo you can see what looks like a filled in crater.
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