Talk:Opportunity (rover)

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This article uses American English dialect and spelling.
According to the WP:ENGVAR, this should not be changed without broad consensus.

Nice image on DE:[edit]

On the german wiki there is a nice image of opportunity...

sol ambiguities?[edit]

Er, I thought the landing date of MER-A was Sol 1. Are there two calendars? --Spikey 14:49, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

yes. MER-b starts at sol 1. Sennheiser 16:53, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Then if I say Sol 5, it's ambiguous? --Spikey 00:01, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I guess it could be to some people. But in that case it should be explained. Sennheiser
(not antagonistic, just really don't understand) How could it not be ambiguous? "Sol 5" could be January 7 or January 28. --Spikey 00:50, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Perhaps in cases where there might be ambiguity, we could call them "Sol 5 (B)" or "Sol 7 (A)", with the (A) and (B) possibly linked like this by way of explanation? Bryan 01:24, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I don't see how there could be confusion considering the fact that there is a sperate article for each Rover. If I said Sol 3 in the Spirit article, it would be the same as saying "day 3 of spirit's stay on mars". If I said Sol 4 in the Opportunity article, it would be the same as saying "day 3 of Opportunity's stay on mars". On another issue entirely, I dont like the idea of this making dates on earth correspond to Sols. A Sol is 40 minutes longer than a day on earth, and we are already starting to have some conflicts between sols and earth days. Sennheiser 14:53, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
It is not currently the case, but there may at some point in the future be an article that makes it ambiguous as to which rover is being referred to when "sol" is used. For example, someone might mention significant events over on the main Mars Exploration Rover Mission page. At that point this method of disambiguation could come in handy. Bryan 18:54, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)
As I said, Sol's shouldn't correspond to earth days. If an important date that should be included in Mars Exploration Rover Mission might be ambigous, it should be written in the standard "earth day" system. But if you guys are insistent upon using sols, Bryan's suggestion sounds ok to me.Sennheiser 19:53, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

(sliding the thread horizontaly) So "Sol 2" isn't really a date as much as "the second sol". That makes sense. I don't think we need to mark them A and B, then, since they will always be used unabiguously, but I'll make the point of my first sentence clear in the articles. --Spikey 02:21, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Sol numbers are quoted by the scientists with either A or B appended. "Sol 1000" is ambiguous, but "B1000" is not. Geoffrey.landis 19:55, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

well done[edit]

Everyone who's contributed both to MER-A and MER-B should give themselves a little pat on the back, as they're both great articles. And they're more important than you might think. A few days editing Current Events over the christmas outage made me realise that it's almost impossible to retroactively find a contemporaneous record of what happened (and in particular, on the prevailing theory-of-things). Right now both of these articles duplicate what's found on plenty of news sites and some NASA ones. But in five or ten years the news archives will be gone or useless or subscription-only, and the NASA pages will mostly be k-12 edutainment and dead links. -- Finlay McWalter 20:02, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

How To Structure Timeline[edit]

Guys... I was wondering, if we loose readability when we mesh together descriptions of Sol activities and News conference blurbs? Up to Feb 8, I tried to keep those separate so the Earth date vs Sol can "slide". The last edits combined those subsections. I'd like to have a "vote" if this or the older formatting is preferred. Oh, and thanks Finlay! That's exactly what we're doing. -- Awolf002 01:41, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The edits you're referring to may have been mine. I was cleaning up sol timestamps (esp. for MER-A, which were off by +1 for January) and in a few places (i.e., between 2 and 4) for MER-A and/or MER-B encountered duplicate stamps for the same Earth calendar date. The reason why was not at all apparent to me so in those cases I merged the info. Otherwise, the only chronology I messed with was sol of landing, combining both landing and first imagery into the same sol.
One thing that has gotten confusing (for me) of late is that the JPL MER website is no longer posting press releases every day -- I've had to reference spaceflightnow to get the sequencing straight (as e.g. the past few days, mea culpa). Anyway, I'm all for someone else willing to keep things organized. I only started making chronology entries today because there'd been very little in the past few days. If you need the info, I have sol timestamps worked out for the next week and can do more easily. -- rbs
Hey rbs. Yes, JPL is going slower, now. They only post press releases when there is a press conference. So in the future this will spread out. Let me propose this: Have two section headers. One for Sol activity descriptions, and one for press conferences. Obviously, if no announcements are made, the Sol entries will lag behind. But this is OK, as long as we stick close to what JPL says, once they have a briefing. I think it is important to document what HAS happened as precisely as possible, not necessarily add it as fast as possible. We do not want to duplicate 'spaceflightnow', do we? What do you think? Awolf002 02:16, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Sometimes the NASA press releases are missing information concerning some of the topics covered in the briefings. Thankfully, Mozilla developer Asa transcribes every briefing! [1] --Sennheiser! 02:45, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hello... The "Timeline" section got moved into a separate page, but is this what is best? If so, then we do need a link from the main MER-X page to the respective timeline!!! 21:14, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The timeline and the article will become too large for one page. Users with slow internet connections will have to wait a long time. Perl 21:20, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

spherical grains[edit]

Do you think these are Ooids or mabye even accretionary lapilli [2]? --Ed Senft! 17:46, 11 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It's still up in the martian air, what exactly these granules are. However, I think we should start a section in the page about them. Awolf002 02:41, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Good idea. You might want to include a quote from Steve Squyres weblog. --Ed Senft! 02:50, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Looks like we worked on this section at the same time ;-) Should be in reasonable shape, now. Awolf002 01:31, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hi! What are the general rules to link to outside pages? I linked an "Astronomy Picture Of The Day" page of a Moon spherule inside the text. Should that go to "External References"? Awolf002 16:34, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Yeah. And Astronomy pictures of the day are public domain so you can copy text from it and paste it into an article. NASA
APOD pix are /not/ public domain. Well, some/many are, but many are not. Go to [3], scroll all the way to the bottom and read the section "About image permissions:". - Rbs 21:35, 2004 Feb 16 (UTC)

Okay, I think APOD has a good archival system, so we can just link to the page. No need to bother with the pix to be moved. The text describing the Moon spherules is my own. So, is it confusing to jump to APOD when clicking the link, and therefore we should put it into the "External Reference" section? I think I hear 'Yes'... Awolf002 22:55, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I would put it under ==external links==. Is this a link for this article? NASA 02:39, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I created an ==External References== section. It is giving references to articles mentioned on the MER-B page, in contrast to ==External Links==, which looked like a collection of links to other MER/MER-B pages. Hope this makes sense. Awolf002 16:21, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Does anybody have a good reference for the size of the Martian spherules? The article mentions the size of the Moon spheroids, but the Mars spheroids need not be similar in size. In the images of the spheroids, it's difficult to determine the scale — even though I know they're microscopic, they look like they could be the size of pebbles or rocks. It would be best to add a sense of scale to the image captions and image description.

Also, the page Martian spherules contains little information that's not in this article. Perhaps we could move content from this article to that one and put a See also: link. —Brim 15:18, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

Water hypothesis[edit]

I think we should use the section "Drenched in water" to summarize the argument for water with its multiple lines of evidence. Sounds good? Awolf002 23:15, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Thats fine with me. Perl 23:33, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I put in a first stab at this. Not sure I like the formatting. Maybe if the entries are more verbatim it will look better. Awolf002 15:43, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Images to be used on this page[edit]

I uploaded some NASA images for use on this page:

  • Nasa mars opportunity rock water 150 eng 02mar04.jpg
  • PIA05480 modest.jpg
  • PIA05484 modest.jpg
  • PIA05482 modest.jpg
  • PIA05481 modest.jpg

Perl 23:43, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Quote from Steve Squyres. Awolf002: it would be great if you could incorporate portions of this into the appropriate sections in the article.

Yeah! Looks like you tried already... This gives the right flavor of a strong, but still preliminary indication for water at the outcroppings. I'll take a look if there is anything to improve. Awolf002 01:56, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"First, the little spherules like blueberries in a muffin are embedded int his rock and weathering out of it. Three ideas, lapilli, little volcanic hailstones, one possibility. Two, droplets of volcanic glass or impact. We've looked at these things very carefully. Probably concretions. If so, it's pointing towards water. Second piece of evidence is that when we looked at it closeup, it was shot through with tabular holes. Familiar forms. When crystals grow within rocks, precipitated from water. If they're tabular, as they grow you can get tabular crystals and water chem changes and they go away or they weather away. Next piece of evidence comes from APXS. We found it looked like a lot of sulfur. That was the outside of the rock. We brought with us a grinding too, the RAT and we ground away 2-4 mm and found even more sulfur. Too much to explain by other than that this rock is full of sulfate salts. That's a telltale sign of liquid water. Mini-TES also found evidence of sulfate salts. Most compelling of all, the Mossbauer spectrometer in the RATted space showed compelling evidence of Jerosite, an iron sulfate hydrate. Fairly rare, found on earth and had been predicted that it might be found on Mars some day. This is a mineral that you got to have water around to make. We believe that this place on Mars had a groundwater environment that would have been suitable for life. Habitable place at one point in time. This is a place where minerals precipitated out from liquid water. One of the best kinds of rocks that preserve evidence for life are rocks where minerals precipitate and trap and preserve evidence of past life. These are very, very interesting rocks. Just as a teaser, we have tentative evidence that not only were they modified by liquid water, they may have been laid down by water."

"Before we landed we had picked this area because TES on MGS had said it had interesting mineral content. First chart shows the APXS samples. Red is the original soil right off the lander. In the blue dots you see sulfur is much higher in the outcrop. Chlorine about the same. Bromine showing up on the right side. We had known that sulfur was high on Mars from Viking. Inferred at that time that it could be salts. When we analyzed rocks at Pathfinder and Gusev, the rocks didn't contain salts. At Meridiani that was different. At Meridiani, chlorine in green is small, sulfur is in yellow. Sulfur jumped up at McKittrick before we RATted. In third bar, the sulfur jumped up (after RAT) and at Guadalupe, we have the record on Mars, almost 5 times the amount. We interpret this sulfur to be sulfate so we expect magnesium sulfate, epsom salts, on Mars with less water it's called kesorite. Kesorite plus the chlorides add up to a salt concentration that may be 40% of the outcrop. This is astounding. No longer can be considered to be a volcanic construct. Only way you can form such large concentrations is to dissolve it in water and have that water evaporate. Further evidence is that the chlorine didn't go up. Also, bromine showed up high. Up at Guadalupe we have highest level of sulfur and down at McKittrick we have highest level of bromine and chlorine. We have an evaporative sequence. There should be additional salts in such a sequence. Next graph is the Mossbauer spectrum that has detected 4 types of minerals in McKittrick sample, including Jerosite, a large fraction of the iron, about a third. It forms in water at a fairly acid PH. Finally we have mini-TES that has looked inside RAT holes and found evidence of sulfate in the spectrum. Joy Crisp: After a more close-up investigation we're going to want to broaden our view. How extensive was this liquid water. Our near long term plans include looking at younger material above the outcrop and on nearby plains. We'd also like to drive to Endurance crater. This graphic is a rover Pancam view of Endurance and a smaller crater between it and the rover. This MOC image shows large crater with bright rim around it. We're interested in finding out what that bright rim is made of. We've attributed it to being the older etched unit that underlies the hematite unit across the Meridiani plains. Is it the same as the outcrop bedrock? Endurance is 30 m deep so we would like to visit it. There's mottled plain to the south that we'd like to get to if possible. This MOC image is 3 miles across showing mottled terrain. We would like to find out if the bright material is the same or different from our outcrop rock. We will drive around and try to determine the water history for this area. James Garvin: What an amazing time to be alive and doing science on Mars. What immediate scientific impact on our program. How can we use these results to target our program. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will do remote sensing from orbit and look for new landing sites. We have earth laboratories and we'd like to bring some of that stuff home to earth. We now have a possible target for a Mars sample return mission. These rovers are the first step to take us to see the new Mars. Q. Does the data suggest how long the water was there or how deep? Steve: I want to again differentiate between a standing body of water and water percolating up. We don't know if this bedrock was created in standing water. Best way to address the age problem is to see how extensive this stuff is, how thick this layer might be. Best way is to bring some of it back."

Perl 00:52, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Opportunity Archive copy[edit]

NASA's Report archive only goes back to sol 11, Feb 04, 2004, so I copied what's there to subpage Talk:MER-B/reports in case we need to fill in some MER-B timeline gaps from early February, or if NASA trims the archive. Wikibob 20:55, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about NASA trimming the archive. (Heck, all the Pathfinder status reports are still available if you know where to look.) Prior to Feb 4, JPL was not issuing the shorter status reports but was instead doing daily or twice daily long Press Releases [4]. After both rovers were in good health and moving, the frequency of press releases dropped and the shorter daily status reports for each rover commenced. - Rbs 21:18, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)
[edit conflict!] Ok, good to know, I'll get the subpages deleted after a week or so. Wikibob 21:54, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC)
I have eventually listed Talk:MER-B/reports on Category:Candidates_for_speedy_deletion. -Wikibob | Talk 21:10, 2004 Nov 30 (UTC)

TOC Table of Contents ideas[edit]

The TOC is getting rarther long now, and the first image causes the TOC to get very squeezed on my 800px wide screen, so my choices seem to be:

Why not I do all of them? Here's a first stab at a HTML solution, but I don't really favour HTML in a wiki. This will occupy maybe 6 lines per month, with a mission length of 3 months (hopefully longer), these tables will use up 18 lines, and if necessary could be laid out horizontally. Opinions?

Trial calendar linking to the MER-B timeline[edit]

(I've removed my old partial calendar from here)

This calendar (removed as of 2004 April 1 -Wikibob | Talk 19:18 UTC) is adapted from User:Wikibob/calendar horizontal better, and seems ok in Mozilla Firefox and lynx. Please remove it if it causes problems. I use right-mouse click and select open in new window/tab to jump to the day I want while leaving this talk page open.

End of calendar[edit]

Can we put more than one calendar on the same line? Perl 21:58, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

More than one calendar on the same line would hose text and non-table browsers much more than one table at a time would do. - Logotu 22:07, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
This is true, just tried a few WikiProject pages in lynx. I now have a couple of calendar templates that also look good in lynx however:
Anyone like to beta-test them for me (already tested in Mozilla and Lynx web browser)? -Wikibob 23:39, 2004 Mar 4 (UTC
Works in internet explorer 6 for pc and Mozilla firefox for linux. Perl 19:10, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Added a new prototype calendar to link to days in the MER-B timeline above. Wikibob 00:30, 2004 Mar 5 (UTC)

Experimental timeline versions[edit]

I have made two versions of the MER-B Timeline to overcome the TOC (table of contents) problem. The first divides the announcements into weekly sections, but each day still has its (non-section) heading. This lets the automatic TOC display a manageable table that doesn't interfere with the image of 300px, and is mercifully short. The second keeps all the daily section headers but disables TOC (using tag NOTOC), and instead uses (ugly) HTML to produce not one but two tables: the first is a very short TOC, the second is a three-month calendar with links to each day. I prefer the first because it has wider compatibility but the second is quite nice too. Feedback?

Wikibob 00:41, 2004 Mar 6 (UTC)

I do not think the HTML version works well. I would prefer the weekly version. However, if the MER's go on for another 60 sols, a monthly TOC might be best... Awolf002 18:49, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Deimos transit[edit]

Deimos transits the Sun 10:28:27 Mars local solar time
Deimos transits the Sun 10:28:36 Mars local solar time
Deimos transits the Sun 10:28:46 Mars local solar time

MER-B just provided images of the Sun from sol 39 which show the transit of Deimos, they are under 1000 bytes each, so I'll copy them here as they're not on the press releases. Also inserted into MER-B timeline.

March 4 (sol 39 ends at 8:52 a.m. Thursday 2004 March 4, PST) Wikibob 02:11, 2004 Mar 7 (UTC)

Where and when Opportunity used the RAT[edit]

Where and when Opportunity used the Rock Abrasion Tool.

  • McKittrick Middle Rat at El Capitan sol 30
    MER-B Grinding Wheel Profile on McKittrick
  • Guadalupe (above McKittrick) sol 34
    Guadalupe after grinding
  • Mojo 2 on Flatrock sol 44
    Mojo 2 on Flatrock

Panorama showing rock locations


See Mystery of Mars rover's 'carwash' rolls on. "Spirit's output has dropped to about 400 watt-hours, partly because Martian dust has caked its solar panels. Opportunity's output also declined at first - to around 500 watt-hours - but over the past six months it has regained power. Lately, its solar cells have been delivering just over 900 watt-hours."

RAT links in MER-A and MER-B articles[edit]

I noticed links to RAT on the MER-B article, which yesterday went to a disambiguation page that didn't have Rock Abrasion Tool listed. I added it, fixed up the links on the MER-A and MER-B articles, and wrote a Rock Abrasion Tool stub. I know that the RAT is covered on the Mars Exploration Rover article, but that article is getting very long and Wikipedia is now warning against expanding it and in favor of splitting it into multiple articles.

I just thought that those who contribute this content should know this. You might want to tear down my stub and link back to the MER article, or the MER article folks might want to start setting up separate articles for instrumentation and etc. I leave it to others.

Jeff Medkeff 01:26, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

First atmospheric temperature profile[edit]

I'm assuming that the scale is in degrees Kelvin. Does anybody know if this is indeed so? If so, I think the description of the image should indicate the scale. —Brim 09:07, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

I added the original text from the JPL press release and the source URL. The temperature is indeed given in Kelvin. Awolf002 14:41, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Why the maddeningly obscure article title?[edit]

Really, are you guys trying to hide this from google and the world at large? I appreciate very well that it is MER-B, but no non-expert who could actually be enlightened by this information is going to search for it under that. Per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), why can't we just call this Opportunity rover and MER-A Spirit rover.--Pharos 09:26, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Because that was the name of the rovers before the informal names of "Spirit" and "Opportunity" were given to it by the 10-yr-old girl. Now I'm sure if you still search for Spirit or Opportunity, one of two things will happen. Either you will 1) get a disambiguation page directing you here, or 2) be instantly redirected to these articles. I favor the latter. Riffsyphon1024 17:37, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"MER-A" and "MER-B" were quite appropriate before they had common names, but certainly the vast overwhelming majority of persons using a search engine today would be more likely to enter "Spirit Rover" than "MER-A". Is there any particular objection to moving these articles to their common names?--Pharos 07:28, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I'd suggest Spirit (rover) and Opportunity (rover) instead, since the word "rover" isn't part of their names as far as I'm aware. just calls them "Sprit" and "Opportunity", for example. Bryan 08:12, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with Bryan that we should call them "Spirit (rover)" and "Opportunity (rover)" since these are the most commonly used names and are used by the official NASA website. — Brim 08:30, Feb 16, 2005 (UTC)
An excellent move idea. You have my full support. Nohat 09:04, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I don't think this will help much in finding these articles. As an experiment I searched for "Spirit" on the WP sidebar and then for "Spirit rover". The first one does not give any obviuous "hits" matching a rover, the second on gives me a redirect page Spirit (Mars rover). This then will bring me to MER-A. What you propose, from a functionality point of view, is already implemented. I vote to leave the article named as the official NASA mission name = MER-A and MER-B. Awolf002 14:52, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

It's better to use Spirit (Mars rover) and Opportunity (Mars rover) instead of just "(rover)". Redirects already exist. Wikipedia usually uses the most common name rather than the official name, so this move would make sense. After all, we have an article entitled Space Shuttle Columbia, not "OV-102". I'm familiar with the names "MER-A" and "MER-B" and have edited some articles about them or related subjects (such as Heat Shield Rock), but I still find myself forgetting which one is A and which one is B... -- Curps 18:43, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Has anyone Google tested it yet? Do the articles come up when the search keywords of "Spirit" or "Opportunity" are used? -- Riffsyphon1024 00:27, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I would just as well put them at the simpler Spirit rover, in analogy to Huygens probe, the word "rover" is not out of context here and has often been used in this phrase.--Pharos 21:53, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • I hope noone minds terribly that I've moved the articles to 'X rover'. If you feel strongly for one of the versions with parantheses, feel free to change/discuss further.--Pharos 18:46, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • It's more user-friendly now. -- Riffsyphon1024 20:16, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Why were all the articles renamed again to Spirit '''R'''over and Opportunity '''R'''over? Was capitalization necessary? -- Riffsyphon1024 01:35, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)
    • I don't know, but I don't agree with it. The "rover" bit isn't a part of their proper names, it's just a bit of disambiguation (which IMO should be parenthesized, but one battle at a time :). Bryan 02:39, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I'm afraid that I changed them all, as the articles' text (and the Talk pages for the ones at which I looked) seemed to use the capitalised form for the title of the vehicles, and the lower-case forms for the generic name. I didn't realise that it would be controversial; sorry. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:42, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It was capitalized when they were called "Mars Exploration Rover A" and "Mars Exploration Rover B", since those were their actual names at the time. But now they're just called "Spirit" and "Opportunity", with "rover" being tacked on to describe what they are. That may be the source of the inconsistent usage. Bryan 00:37, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Strange goings on with images[edit]

Opportunity - PIA05152.jpg

I reuploaded Image:Opportunity - PIA05152.jpg, and the Image:Opportunity - PIA05152.jpg

The [[Media:Pancam_Sol1_Postcard_part_th361.jpg]] link worked under preview (Media:Opportunity - PIA05152.jpg), but then it went all strange after saving, it only leads back to the main article... the page for that image was previously there, but the image was not showing... so I would assume there's something strange with the image server.

To add to all this, this image as described is a dupe of the image below it in the article:

Opportunity - PIA05152.jpg


Updating the transverse map[edit]

The transverse map of the article is nearly 300 sols out-of-date. A more current image can be found at the Opportunity: Detailed Traverse Maps: 22-Sept-2005 which is in transverse maps. There will probably need to be some resizing work to make the image appropriate for the article. Both links at NASA and hense can be used at the Wikipedia. MichaelSH 18:04, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Big gap in article.[edit]

This reads like "Activities and Discoveries of the Opportunity rover." We need at least one big paragraph right at the start to describe the rover's physical nature, what apparatus it has, the process of controlling it, how long it takes for it to receive an instruction sent from Earth, etc. Even if this is all described exhaustively at the general rover mission page, we should at the VERY least put a prominent one-sentence paragraph saying "This rover is physically identical to the Spirit rover; for its physical description and general operating principles see the page Mars Exploration Rover Mission." I would research this and do it myself, but right now I'm physically exhausted and I'm afraid I would make mistakes and screw up the page. DanielCristofani 07:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Changing "she" to "it"[edit]

I disagree with excising the deliberate use of "gender" (by NASA mission members) from this article. Why should we remove that? There is no reason for that change. Awolf002 23:13, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, if there is no reason for this change, I will revert. Comments? Awolf002 22:43, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

  • There is no mention of gender in the Press Kit available from; in fact, the writing seems to assiduously avoid using the term "it" or anonymous references in general, opting for "the rover" or referring to each rover by name in most cases. What evidence do you have for your information about how the mission members referred to the rover informally (assuming you were not a mission member yourself, that is)? User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 02:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not a mission member, but watched the early press conferences. Look at wiki source for some of them. Here is a quote of Art Thompson starting the February 12 2004 briefing with: Report card on Spirit is that she's in outstanding health. I will look for more "official" documents, just to verify this. Awolf002 15:35, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Fair enough; referencing that is sufficient in my book. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:40, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Good, since you are abolutely correct in noting that the press releases (strenously?) avoid using both 'it' and 'she'. I wonder if there is some politicing going on between mission members... Awolf002 12:10, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

In the old days, explorers would refer to their ships as "she", and give them female names. This tradtition has passed on to the final frontier.--Planetary 23:02, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

This doesn't matter. This is an encyclopedia, which means we have to stick with facts. THE ROVER IS AN INAMINATE OBJECT, SO IT IS A FACT THAT IT IS AN "IT", REGARDLESS OF WHAT MISSION CONTROL SAYS!!! Pacman 21:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Calm down! It's definitely notable that mission controls refers to them in the feminine, unofficially, and what harm will there be in the article?--Planetary 00:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup and Update templates[edit]

The Cleanup and Update tags at the top of this article have been in place since April of 2005 and November of 2005 respectively. Do we still feel the need to have these in the article or have the issues been addressed so we can remove them.

If you do not feel that the article is ready to have them removed, please post the reasons why so someone can fix it.

Epolk 20:48, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Mission patches??[edit]

I looked for the references that the mission patches are used by the MER members, and I think there is something wrong. This article seems to state that the patches were made for the First Space Launch Squadron (see the 1SLS logo in the patches?), not for the MER teams. Also, the patches were made by Warner Bros and do not seem to be usable under GFDL! Comments? Awolf002 13:54, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

No comments received at this point, so I will remove the patches if nobody objects! Awolf002 01:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Regardless of whether they were made for 1SLS or for MER, the patches were definitely painted onto the rockets the rovers were launched on, so they do fit. Since they were created for the USAF, they may count as government property. At the very least, fair use would apply just as any other mission patch. --Kitch 09:42, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Could we nail down better that we can use those images? I would think "Fair use" does not apply, since the patch is not used in any context of "reporting" a related issue, but instead is a standalone image. We need to know who owns the copyright, now... Awolf002 11:12, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe that "Fair use" does apply, as it is both reporting on a news event and the involved party is a government agency. If you are concerned about Warner Bros and the exact details of the acceptable usage of this image, rather than asking everyone else to run around and get the details for you, why don't you contact NASA yourself and ask them. I would be very surprised if they asked for the image to cease being used here...
--Lucanos 04:48, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

The patches shown are indeed the launch patches, not the mission patches. I changed one word in the caption to reflect this. As Awolf002 correctly states, the launch patches stem from the 1SLS (the Air Force squadron in charge of the Delta launch range), not from NASA. Geoffrey.landis 19:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Numerical changes by anon editor - please review[edit]

The editor User: conducted several numerical changes, as shown in this diff. Could you please review to make sure that these are valid revisions? Thanks. User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:59, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

They are fine and above board. See [5] for confirmation. Eluchil404 01:21, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks .. just making sure; I've seen this type of thing as a style of vandalism in other articles and there was no edit summary to explain the changes. Regards, User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:25, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

About the rover itself?[edit]

Let me just say first off that this article is fantastic! There are a lot of articles on Wikipedia that fascinate me, but very few that are anywhere close to this one. That said, I'd like to see more about the rover itself. How big is it? I'm guessing 3 feet-ish by 5-ish? Zooming in on the high-res pics I swear I can see wheels, and I'd love to know how many there are (6?) and how big they are. Further, what kind of equipment does the rover possess? Someone said something about an RAT...please explain what that is and how it's used! Maybe we should split this article into "Opportunity rover" and "Opportunity rover mission", so us engineers can get more details about the machine itself. I'd read every detail on both articles! Middlenamefrank 06:46, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Just go into the main article Mars Exploration Rover. Everything you need is there.

Columbia, and a few other changes[edit]

I deleted text stating that the site was named for the Columbia astronauts-- that was the Spirit site, not Opportunity.

Also, there was some text stating that the drives in Endurance crater proceeded as planned. This is not actually correct-- we saw a lot of slippage at some spots inside the crater. I changed the text to mention this.

Finally, I added some references to the science results. Geoffrey.landis 15:26, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Landing Site[edit]

Shouldn't the coordinates of the landing site be given the other way round (i.e. latitude first, longitude second)?

Currently it is given as "Opportunity landed in Meridiani Planum at 354.47°E 1.94°S"
I think this should be "Opportunity landed in Meridiani Planum at 1.94°S, 354.47°E"


There are some strange rectangular pixellated artifacts on the image "Section of hole created by RAT". What are these, and it would be good if an explantion was given in the gallery and image description page. MadMaxDog 10:35, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Technical details[edit]

This sections eems very tacked-on, lacks context too. Is there something like a technical article on the rover, where this one should go? MadMaxDog 10:41, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I deleted it and technical data from Spirit rover. I put that in the MER article. -- JamesHoadley 06:42, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Traverse path[edit]

It may be that someone is able to update the traverse path map in the article. Nasa has published an updated route to sol 1215: -- SGBailey 20:54, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Citation 18 error[edit]

Aarggh! I'm struggling to set this up right, can someone please help me out? The information's there but in trying to fix it I've made things worse. Help! Chris Jefferies 22:47, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Pieces of World Trade center on the Rovers?[edit]

Can anyone confirm this information!?

Both Spirit and Opportunity have pieces of the fallen World Trade Center's metal on them.[3] [3] Steve Squyres, Roving Mars pp 113

It seems pretty far fetched that NASA would spend money by putting metal from a building, since these Rovers are optimised towards weight to the last. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Either way it shouldn't be under "Mission overview." Could someone move it to a better place? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:46, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Weight wouldn't be an issue if the metal was used in a portion that had to be included anyway. Squyres gives very specific information (including a photograph) regarding the portion of the specific tool (Rock Abrasion Tool) on the rover that was made with WTC steel. An article in the New York Times (Nov. 7, 2004, Science Section, "Martian Robots, Taking Orders from a Manhattan Walkup") written 2 years before Squyres's book was published also mentions WTC steel in the rovers. The article includes quotations from the Chief Engineer of the company that fabricated the piece incorporating the WTC metal. Moreover, the NYC article claims that it is the first public revelation of the use of WTC metal in the rovers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Heat Shield Rock[edit]

Strictly speaking, the Moon is not defined to be a planet, but a natural satellite, so the Heat Shield Rock is in fact the first meteorite found 'on another planet'. It may, however, be the third found on another rocky body in the solar system. --Chris Jefferies (talk) 09:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Please correct any mistakes with this template.[edit]

And add it to the article if possible. CompuHacker (talk) 15:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Please warn readers on external links that have requirements[edit]

* [ Full-page, high-res spherical panorama of Opportunity in Erebus Crater]

* [ Full-page, high-res spherical panorama of Opportunity in Victoria Crater]

Maybe I overreacted, but I have tagged both of the above panorama links with Fact and noted that they use Java. They do not work for me, in fact the Victoria crater link opened as a full screen ... of blank. As a matter of courtesy, please annotate links to non-standard html with what they need (eg. Adobe if it's a PDF, Java if it's Java, if it's Internet Explorer-only, etc). -84user (talk) 22:47, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

To followup my post above, I have sorted the external links into "Official" (NASA and organisations closely associated with the program) and Other.
I also found the panoramic "i/ota" links work (at least in the Opera browser), but take time to download and operate (I have a fast PC and fast connection), so I removed my citation needed tags. I also tested the link but cannot see the value of it - it shows a clickable Mars globe which shows medium resolution plan views when clicked. However neither globe nor views have any markings to aid the reader. Also clicking on any plan view returns a 404 not found error. The site does have links to sell books which would not bother me if the globe facility worked properly. I feel Google Mars does a more informative job. Anyway I leave its fate to other editors. -84user (talk) 16:02, 5 June 2008 (UTC)


File:Mer-b-final-launch.jpg has been nominated for deletion. (talk) 05:00, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Cleaning event[edit]

"Cleaning event" is mentioned several times, but there is no explanation as to what is meant by the term. (talk) 16:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Wind blows away the sand on the solar panals and by that cleaning the power output is restored to previous levels. Without that, the rovers would be out of business a long time ago.--Stone (talk) 15:18, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe even Dust Devils !-- (talk) 22:17, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
Cleaning event topic has been created ! -- (talk) 22:32, 17 June 2011 (UTC)


Do the headings for this article have to be so storylike? Remember this is an encyclopedia, "Opportunity digs a trench" and "The road to Endeavour crater" sound like chapter titles in a book.-- (talk) 08:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Rover Commands[edit]

Is there information about the navigation commands sent to the rover? Can we show the commands that were sent to the rover? --Mschribr (talk) 19:14, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


Anyone know the cost? It seems like planned budget vs. expended budget would be useful information, especially in the debate of how to best allocate Nasa's resources, but I can't find any numbers. Thanks, Wldcat (talk) 00:47, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Curiosity rover which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 03:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

where is the rover heading?[edit]

south? google mars doe snot have many names mentioned in the article. Jackzhp (talk) 23:08, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Added reference to 2013 section showing rovers current destination (Mars Rover Opportunity Trekking Toward More Layers) also found this image which could be useful Path from landing to Sol 3323 (May 30 2013) Markh89 (talk) 11:07, 8 June 2013 (UTC)


I think this article should be a little restructured. It is not really good readable. I will try to reorganize the paragraphs, and bring a little order into the many pictures of this page. Maybe it will be a better article before the 10th anniversary of the landing in January 2014 .. --MoreInput (talk) 20:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

So, finished. I hope the structure is now better than before. --MoreInput (talk) 21:51, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
OMG!!!! MoreInput - your new article structure is really terrible! Why did you split all years into halves? Why did you introduce those long chapter titles - they are realy bad readable in the top contents table. Why did you delete many pictures, for example pictures of Fram crater, Naturaliste crater, Erebus crater ???? Please, revert someone the article to the state as it was on 9.November 2013 !!!! Mmichalsk (talk) 17:02, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
"Why did you split all years into halves? "
I think that's the best time span to summarize the events of the mission. One month / one quarter may be too short. The rover sometimes stood some month and nothing really happened (winter time). But within a half of a year enough happend to summarize the events and main scientific points of this journey.
"Why did you introduce those long chapter titles - they are realy bad readable in the top contents table."
Could be changed. I also think they are too long. Maybe "I./2004" and "II./2004" looks better?
"Why did you delete many pictures, for example pictures of Fram crater, Naturaliste crater, Erebus crater ????"
I found the article in the older version a little chaotic: There were pictures on the left and on the right, and some text in between. And after a short text big panorama pictures. I think it was just not good readable. So I decided to remove some pictures so that the text of the article could be better seen.
I put the pictures of Fram crater, Naturaliste crater, Erebus crater below, so that the reader still can see these great pictures.
But it is no problem to put some of the pictures back inside the text.
I am also not yet satisfied with this structure, e.g. where could the driving maps be placed at best? At the end they may be too far away to be seen. There also some paragraphs which had to be filled with content, like "Journey to Victoria crater"
The same answer applies to the Spirit article.
--MoreInput (talk) 21:14, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Re Contents:
No, this is nonsense. MER misions are so slow, that mostly one notable event in a year happened. For example, at Victoria Opportunity spent 3 Years! If you look at your structure, you see, that in any of your half-year chapter is only one or two events. And one more point - with excection of MER team workers, no one really care, if some event happend in the first or second half of year 2007 or if it was in 2008. I understand the waste of your time doing the restructuring, but you only wreckaged the articles. So plese, revert the contents structure back to original.
Re Pictures:
No. Every normal person reading a text, for expample about Erebus Crater, is expecting the picture close to the text. Who would like to search the end of a long article to look for a picture every time he reads about some event? It just makes the reading more chaotic and most people will completle miss, that there are any pictures regarding that part of text!
So like I said. You maybe had good intentions to these articles, but you only degraded them this way. Mmichalsk (talk) 15:54, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Hello MoreInput, you write:
I found the article in the older version a little chaotic: There were pictures on the left and on the right, and some text in between. And after a short text big panorama pictures.
I think this had historic reasons, as text and images were added to the article as they happened. Rewriting the article to be more consistent ("Aus einem Guß", as they say in Germany) is a good thing – however I think images that were important when they were added, should remain at the relevant position in the text.
I don't have time to properly compare the old vs. the new version (and can't tell what version is better), but one thing I noticed: The large "Opportunity Ledge" outcrop panorama was replaced with the annotated version (and the image is no longer a scrollable panorama as it was, which was really helpful IMHO considering the aspect ratio of the image). The text is not readable at all in the included size, and you have to click through to get a proper version. I changed it to the same as in the Eagle (crater) article, where you can read the text in the image without having to click two times. Tony Mach (talk) 19:33, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Mystery rock (Pinnacle Island)[edit]

Will someone please add this news to the article? I'm tied up at the moment, or I'd do it myself. Thanks in advance. --Art Smart Chart/Heart 12:16, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I would wait and see if they report anything significant on that rock. BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:13, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done - added relevant image/caption/text/ref to article - re File:MarsOpportunityRover-MysteryRock-Sol3528-Sol3540.jpg - |thumb| comparison of two raw Pancam photographs from sols 3528 and 3540 of Opportunity's mission (a sol is a Martian day). Notice the "jelly doughnut"-sized rock in the center of the photograph to the right. Minor adjustments for brightness and contrast.]]< ref name="SPACE-20140117">O'Neill, Ian (January 17, 2014). "Mystery Rock 'Appears' in Front of Mars Rover". Retrieved January 18, 2014. </ref>
Entirely ok with me to rv/mv/ce of course - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 03:04, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I updated the discussion of the Pinnacle Rock text. But, I noticed that the wikilink of Pinnacle Rock goes to a page with just a list then redirects back to this artice and the 2014 section. Why does it redirect back to this page? Geraldshields11 (talk) 14:55, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
New update: The success of crushing rocks has led scientists and engineers to crush additional rocks intentionally such as “Sledge Island". --Artman40 (talk) 05:32, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Marathon distance[edit]

My contribution sourced from NASA news was reverted, with no explanation. Why was the text reverted? Why no explanation? The subject was NASA news stating Opportunity had reached a 'marathon" race equivalent distance after 11 years, The NASA team celebrated the event. Jcardazzi (talk) 00:49, 16 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

The rover did not compete in any marathon and certainly did not take it 11 years to get to the mountain. Waste of electrons having to explain that. BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:25, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

NASA did not write Opportunity ran a marathon, NASA wrote Opportunity had gone the distance of a marathon race, after 11 years, NASA was using a marathon race as an analogy. "On Tuesday, March 24th 2015, NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity completed its first Red Planet marathon-- 26.219 miles – with a finish time of roughly 11 years and two months."... "When Opportunity landed on Mars 11 years ago, no one imagined this vehicle surviving a Martian winter, let alone completing a marathon," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas of JPL. To celebrate, the Mars rover team at JPL held a marathon-length relay race.Jcardazzi (talk) 01:42, 16 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

There is data and then there is propaganda. Remember when NASA reported the New Horizons probe used its "Lazarus" system to come back to life? The actual name is Safe mode (spacecraft) and that is what was reported in this encyclopedia. If you want to make this page a flashy magazine article with catchy propaganda phrases go ahead and revert it. I am not interested in going on a war edit with you. Cheer, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:37, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. I did not know about the Lazarus report. I understand your NASA propaganda issue, and that is not my intent. I reworded the sentences to be encyclopedia like, I hope.Jcardazzi (talk) 20:44, 16 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi

I apologize for being moody yesterday. I did a poor job explaining my request. Thank you. BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:47, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

That is alright. Your comments help me learn wikipedia's working. Thanks for your effort and assistance.Jcardazzi (talk) 20:55, 16 May 2015 (UTC)jcardazzi