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90 Sols in 90 Seconds
May 18, 2004 12:59 PM   Subscribe

With all this talk of wars in distant countries, it's easy to forget that there's exciting things going on just 300 million km from your back porch. NASA has provided 90 second videos of the first 90 sols of the Spirit [5MB .mov] and Opportunity rovers [5MB .mov].
posted by fatbobsmith (11 comments total)

 
Meanwhile, Cassini-Huygens is just 43 days away from Saturn.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on May 18, 2004


"sols?"
posted by scarabic at 1:07 PM on May 18, 2004


If they were really exciting, we wouldn't have forgotten them.
posted by smackfu at 1:08 PM on May 18, 2004


sol = one planetary rotation
posted by fatbobsmith at 1:12 PM on May 18, 2004


A day on Mars is called a sol, short for solar day, and lasts 24 hours 39 minutes 35.244 seconds..
posted by malphigian at 1:15 PM on May 18, 2004


that's just another bad film school project, you can't fool me.
posted by badstone at 1:17 PM on May 18, 2004


Thanks for the links fatbob - that was fun. The animated shadows and motion add a new sense of reality to it. A couple nights ago, I spotted Mars in the sky, with my 3-year old daughter, and said "remember those robots we saw on the computer - that's where they are right now, rolling around". She said "what are the robots saying?" I told her "they are saying 'Hello down there - this is what Mars is like'.". That was a fun and gratifying conversation.
posted by kokogiak at 1:35 PM on May 18, 2004


Avesome. Are they still operational? Wov.
posted by hoskala at 2:03 PM on May 18, 2004


[Sweet.] From someone who still visits the image galleries daily, I can't tell you how much fun it was to see the rovers' travels summed up in little flipbooks, adding my own engine-revving and tire-squealing sound effects. Grrrrrrrn, squeeeeee! Vrrrrrrrrrrrrm, eeeeeek! Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa, meep meep! [Thanks!]
posted by steef at 2:39 PM on May 18, 2004


The Opportunity video is very interesting. Especially using the wheel to "dig" into the surface to allow the arm to get samples.
I also did not realise they took Opportunity right back to its lander before taking another tour.
posted by stuartmm at 2:56 PM on May 18, 2004


I don't even know how to put into words how impressive I find this.

That we have RC robots tooling around on a different planet and can watch and eat popcorn while they do their work is truly astonishing.
posted by Ynoxas at 3:14 PM on May 18, 2004


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