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Depth to Bedrock, Zero
Topic: Mars
01/27/04
The Opportunity landscape offers enough geological gems that science teams already have a rough idea of where they want to explore, only hours after the first pictures arrived. The scientists rated the Meridiani site as their first choice prior to launch.

Mars 2053
Topic: Mars
01/26/04
After 18 martian days of a near-perfect mission, a Spirit rover message came to Earth with corrupted data. When decoded, this tiny clue showed that the mobile laboratory's software considered that it was the year 2053.

Terra Meridiani, Not Terra Firma
Topic: Mars
01/26/04
The three standout features in the initial color postcard from the Opportunity landing site at Meridiani Planum include: the first observed martian bedrock, a talcum-powder-like soil texture, and the iron-rich color reminiscent of red clays from Texas and Oklahoma. But analogs on Earth may be hard to find.

Where on Mars is Opportunity?
Topic: Mars
01/25/04
Using images taken by Opportunity during its descent to the martian surface, mission scientists have begun to pinpoint the rover's location. Nearby, a large crater beckons as a long-range scientific target.

A Bizarre New Mars
Topic: Mars
01/25/04
Initial color images from Meridiani, Opportunity's landing site in a flat, volcanic plain, suggest fine-grain soil and the first bedrock ever seen on Mars. The significance of bedrock to geologists can be compared to a history book of the planet, with its binding still ordering the pages to be read.

Second Opportunity, Safe on Mars
Topic: Mars
01/24/04
Surviving its harrowing entry and landing, the second Mars rover called Opportunity was reported to be 'live' and at rest on the surface of a volcanic plain called Meridiani Planum. As Rob Manning, the development manager for the critical Entry, Descent and Landing.

Spirit Condition Serious
Topic: Mars
01/24/04
An anomaly team has been huddled to determine the current state of the Spirit rover's health. They estimate days to weeks before a final operational diagnosis can be completed.

No Hostage to Earth's Geology
Topic: Mars
01/20/04
Spirit rover geologists might look to drill into their first rock sample, with their cameras trained on whether it shows round or glassy grains inside. The differences may extend their sampling strategy to look for other examples from the four major classes: volcanic, impact debris, aqueous or aeolian (wind-weathered).

Martian Silk and Sandpaper
Topic: Mars
01/17/04
With Mars lander now transformed into roving geologists, mission scientists stretched Spirit rover's robotic arm and took highest resolution image. Their microscopic imager can resolve soil and rock surfaces with sufficient sharpness to photograph features small enough to compare with width of human hair.

Spirit Makes Tracks on Mars
Topic: Mars
01/15/04
The Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, descended today from its landing base onto red soil. The wheel tracks were confirmed by new images looking back at what is now debris, its petal-like platform. What was a mission that began as a lander is now a rover, and about to transform again into a robotic geologist.
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