Friday, April 3, 2015

Mars rover completes "marathon"





Time now again for Science Friday.

The Opportunity rover has just completed a "marathon" on Mars, marking an achievement in space exploration.

Thus far, the determined little guy has racked up 26.219 miles in just over 11 years...which is just slightly faster than my estimated marathon finish. This does, however, break the previously held record set by Soviet spacecraft, Lunokhod on the Moon. So go ahead and give a few chants of " 'Merica," I suppose.

All in all, Opportunity's odyssey has been most informative. Chief among its discoveries is the pile of evidence that suggests there was once water on Mars. Not just water, but flowing water in the form of massive tidal waves as this study contends.

"This mission isn't about setting distance records, of course; it's about making scientific discoveries on Mars and inspiring future explorers to achieve even more," said Steve Squyres, Opportunity principal investigator at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "Still, running a marathon on Mars feels pretty cool."

Many of those in mundane walks of life might not get it, but this is a massive achievement. Humanity created a device that traveled through space to another planet and furthered our understanding of the universe. You know, because we kinda live there and all that. This goes beyond concerns fabular and into the practical. The job is not over yet and let's hope Opportunity keeps making discoveries, namely evidence leading to the conclusion that Mars could have once supported life.

Hey from the sound of things, there might be a better chance of that turning up than Mars One actually working.





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