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Moon and then on to Mars.


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Moon and Mars.
Return humans to the Moon and then on to Mars.

What is that Bedrock?

The most intriguing part about Opportunity's landing spot is the big slab of bedrock exposed on the rim of the crater the rover is in. The region is important because it means that planetary geologists know where this rock was formed - right there. Other rocks can be moved by water and wind erosion, volcanic events or asteroid impacts, but this bedrock hasn't been moved. When the rover is ready to drive off its lander, it will climb up to the bedrock and examine it carefully for any layers that could answer if there was once standing water in this region. And where there was once water, there could be life.

Mars Society Responds to Bush Announcement.

When US President George W. Bush announced his government's new space initiative, to return humans to the Moon and then on to Mars, many space advocacy groups saw this as an opportunity to advance the goals of space exploration. The Mars Society recently announced their analysis and recommendations about the initiative. Overall, the society welcomed the new policies, but felt there was room for improvement in several areas, including an emphasis on acquiring heavy lift boosters and developing methods for creating fuel, water, etc on the Moon or Mars.

Opportunity's Hardware is Working Properly.

Opportunity has tested out the three scientific sensing tools on its robotic arm, and it appears they all survived the brutal entry and landing on Mars without a problem. The spacecraft took its first 24-image panoramic view of its surroundings which clearly shows the discoloured soil where the rover bounced inside an impact crater. Opportunity is still more than a week away from the point where it too will be rolled onto the Martian surface. On the other side of the planet, repairs on Spirit are ongoing, but it's not clear when the rover will be able to continue its mission.

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