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  • Depth to Bedrock, Zero
    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.
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  • Opportunity Finds Martian Layer Cake
    Geologists on the rover science team are excited by the discovery of fine layering in the rock outcrop that sits directly in front of Opportunity. One possibility is that the layers are sediments deposited billions of years ago by liquid water.
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  • Terra Meridiani, Not Terra Firma
    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
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  • Mars 2053
    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.
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  • A Bizarre New Mars
    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
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  • Where on Mars is Opportunity?
    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.
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  • Spirit Condition Serious
    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.
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  • Second Opportunity, Safe on Mars
    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.
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  • Gem Sorting for the Next Earth
    Which star is most like our own Sun? This intriguing question offers a chance to test hypotheses about what places might make for a good Earth-like, habitable planet. The best found so far may well be the 37th most westerly star in the constellation, Gemini,
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  • No Hostage to Earth’s Geology
    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,
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  • Martian Silk and Sandpaper
    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.
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  • Spirit Makes Tracks on Mars
    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
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  • Mars Express: Takeout Service
    The swarm of ongoing Mars missions offers scientists a chance to combine wits, either using different instruments or unusual perspectives. An experiment dreamed up in a Paris cafe less than a year ago will unfold on Friday, when the European Mars Express orbiter looks down
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  • Shadow Boxing with ‘Fear’
    One of the most intriguing views that the rover Spirit may bear witness to is a solar eclipse by its potato-shaped moon, Phobos. Taken from the Greek word, 'fear', Phobos makes two trips across the martian sky everyday and passes in front of the
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  • Spirit Scientists Plot a Course
    The first thing that the Spirit rover will do later tonight, after getting all six wheels on the ground, is sample the soil in the immediate vicinity of its base petal. Once that task is complete, Spirit will head out toward a nearby crater.
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