Sunday, February 08, 2004

Soil? More Like Piles of Dust

NASA geologists call it a stroke of luck that the Mars Opportunity Rover landed in a 9 ft deep crater with what looks like exposed bedrock. As it was targeted for a broad plateau, odds seemed high that it would find a less feature-rich environment.

Though the crater landing was quite fortunate, I wonder if Opportunity will be able to escape this crater. The soil dynamics of the crater are already causing the rover to slip, and the Martian soil compresses at the slightest pressure.

If it can't escape the crater, the tinfoil hat crowd will have a field day speculating what elaborate Martian culture must linger just beyond the lip of Opportunity's home.

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