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Mars NASA Space Science

NASA Mars Rover Spots Its Ultimate Destination 101

coondoggie writes "It has been years in the making but NASA said its Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has captured a new view of the rim of the planet's Endeavour crater, perhaps the rover's ultimate destination. The Mars rover set out for Endeavour in September 2008 after spending two years exploring the Victoria crater. NASA says Endeavour is 13 miles across, some 25 times wider than Victoria crater, and could offer scientists more insight into the red planet's makeup."
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NASA Mars Rover Spots Its Ultimate Destination

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  • incredible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jarik C-Bol ( 894741 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:48PM (#32080552)
    It still amazes me how long these rovers have lasted. hopefully it makes it to the crater, and lasts for a long time once it gets there.
  • by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:04PM (#32080658)

    I wonder what alternates to solar panels they've considered. Seems like a satellite could collect solar energy 24.6583 by 7 and beam it to the rover(s) using microwave or something. And the rover could carry less equipment, not have to worry about dust so much, and operate around the clock.

  • Obl. XKCD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ejtttje ( 673126 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:57PM (#32080966) Homepage
    In case anyone hasn't seen it, although featuring Spirit not Opportunity, still applies: http://xkcd.com/695/ [xkcd.com]
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @01:18AM (#32081854)
    These rovers are great, and there's no denying the incredible engineering and workmanship that went into them. However, given the speed they are capable of traveling and the limited equipment they have on board, I can't help thinking that all the science they've accomplished over these many years could have been done in about 3 days by an actual human. A human can walk much faster than these rovers can travel, and a human is capable of interpreting data without having to wait 30 minutes each way for communications from the Earth.

    The robots may be much cheaper, but a human on the surface of the planet would be much more efficient.
  • by confused one ( 671304 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:28AM (#32082138)

    Ah, what a fanciful imagination you have of how engineering works.

    While I don't agree with his supposition, He's not that far off the mark. In manufacturing, if the expected life is 1 year (with a warranty period of 90 days), and if a $10 part will last, literally forever while a $2 part will last for 1 year of continuous use... You choose the $2 part.

  • Re:Shazam! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @05:41AM (#32082774) Homepage
    Actually, we would call those "eastern cultures". Only America, with its history of expansion and "go West, young man" thinks of life as growing the pie. The culture I've lived in for the past seven years does not have that idea at all - overcrowding within a confined space has a bad effect on a culture, making the zero-sum game the only way to live life. "If you win, then necessarily I must lose." This sort of thinking is pervasive and destructive. People will screw you over for no reason, none, other than they feel that there is no such thing as a win-win situation.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray