Thursday, August 11, 2011

Somebody thought they'd never find him there

Uh . . . rocks aren't the only thing the surviving Mars rover found at the edge of that big crater after a three-year drive.

Don't NASA and The Associated Press even bother to look at the pictures the little feller's taking?

NASA's surviving Mars rover Opportunity has reached the rim of a 14-mile-wide crater where the robot geologist will examine rocks older than any it has seen in its seven years on the surface of the red planet, scientists said Wednesday.

The solar-powered, six-wheel rover arrived at Endeavour crater after driving 13 miles from a smaller crater named Victoria.

The drive, which took nearly three years, culminated Tuesday, when Opportunity signaled it had arrived at the location dubbed Spirit Point in honor of the rover's twin, which fell silent last year.

"We're there," said project manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Opportunity and Spirit landed on opposite sides of Mars in 2004 and used their instruments to discover geologic evidence that the cold and dusty planet was once wet.

Craters can provide windows into the planet's past because layers of material from long-ago eras are exposed. Endeavour crater is more than 25 times wider than Victoria.

MAYBE WE should just turn over the space program to the Mafia.

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