Endeavour Crater, Rovers, Abigail Frame discussed on Science Friday

Science Friday


Listener supported W N Y C studios. This is science Friday. I'm I replayed. Seeing you. I was there yesterday. And I was there with the team. These commands went out into the deep sky, and I learned this morning. I thought we had not heard back and our beloved opportunity remained silent. It is stare for. I'm standing here with sense of deep appreciation and crowded tude declare the opportunity mission as complete on with it. The Mars exploration rower mation asked complete. Been looking. Be seeing. That was Thomas Zurbuchen associate administrator for NASA science mission directorate, officially declaring opportunities remarkable fifteen year long mission to be over the Mars Rover had gone silent since getting caught in a dust storm last summer on Tuesday night, the space agency made one last temped to contact the Rover sending it Billie holiday's rendition of all be seeing you but opportunity did not answer mega girth. Baker senior science reporter with five thirty eight is here to talk about sort of a sad. Occasion, hyg Maggie high that almost made me cry a little bit in student. I got a little misty myself. I is it was almost like death in the family wasn't not. Yeah. I mean, these Rovers are so personable. I mean, they kind of feel like they have faces a little bit people get attached to them. You know, they have Twitter presences. Everybody really loves these things. And this one was scrappy and tough. It was only supposed to last for ninety days when it landed in two thousand four and instead it ran for five thousand three hundred fifty two days, and it took a planet wide dust storm to take it down. So that's that's what happened it could not recover from the dust storm. Yeah. It had gotten stuck in a previous store a few years ago that did recover from. But this one went on a lot longer and the Rover was powered by solar power. So it's solar panels got covered up with dust. And after certain point it didn't have enough energy to kind of keep itself alive. Long enough for the dust to clear. Because they had sent it. What more than eight hundred commands? Yeah. Yeah. Over over the course of the past few months, and it just didn't ever contact us back. Let's talk about some of the highlights of opportunities time on Moore's we we checked in with APPA tune the Mars Rover deputy project scientist Abigail frame in this week and asked her to share her favorite memory of the mission. It's really hard for me to pick a favorite memory from this mission. Because I have so many over the past fifteen years one of them that really sticks out in my mind, though, was in two thousand and ten when we first pulled up to the rim of endeavour crater endeavour crater is this big twenty two kilometers diameter impact crater, and we'd been seeing it in the distance for months before we got there. Pulling up to this crater was basically the start of a new mission in the rim of the crater. We encountered new kinds of rocks much older rocks than we'd seen. Before. And it was so cool to think that after so many years the exploration was just as fresh and exciting as it was the day. We landed mega have some of your favorite highlights. I think one thing that I thought was really exciting to me was the fact that this Rover actually held the record for longest distance driven by a wheeled vehicle off of planet earth. It went twenty eight miles in its time on Mars, which doesn't really seem like a lot. But when you think about everything that sort of had to happen for this little guy to be there and to have the power to drive those miles like that's a lot of effort and a lot of work, and it's twenty eight miles that is very important to our understanding of Martian history..

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