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Space Science

Homing In On Opportunity From Orbit 48 48

An anonymous reader writes "Finding its lander inside a 20-meter crater, NASA has further homed in its latest lander's location and a major science target for the Opportunity rover using high resolution orbital cameras from 400 km overhead. The lander's parachute even casted a shadow nearby this target [another 150 meter crater] during descent. Earlier, each bounce of the Spirit rover could be imaged, along with its backshell, heatshield and parachute debris. Even with dust and weathering, this method could find Pathfinder and Viking [barely], and a technical discussion with pictures is at Malin Space Systems, which designed the Mars Orbital Camera. Because of uncertainties in location, however, it would take 60 years to find the lost Mars Polar Lander, but they may look for Beagle if conditions aren't too dusty."
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Homing In On Opportunity From Orbit

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