NASA has recently released fascinating photos taken from the Rover Opportunity vehicle on the surface of Mars. The photos, taken from a panoramic camera, known as PanCam, show the detailed images of the Red Planet’s rocky landscape. The rover represents 3,000 sols, of Martian days, and 15 years of NASA’s robotic presence on Mars.
Some the most interesting photos are shots of the Endeavour Crater. Taken from the rim of the crater, know as Greeley Haven, these shots show the battered surface of our closest interplanetary neighbor. Another crator, called the Gale Crator, is reported to have a combined size of the US states of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Its base is made up of 3 miles of layered sedimentary rock. This area could provide key insights into any water that was on the planet. This information can give scientists the data needed to determine if Mars has ever been able to support life through its history.
This rover is not the first to have explored Mars, but it is the largest, to date. It is almost 7 feet tall and weighs over a ton. The equipment is much more advanced than that of past rovers. These past robots merely searched for evidence of water on Mars. This new technology allows the rover to detect whether carbon and minerals expelled by living organisms exist on ravine walls. Scientists believe that water formed these ravines.
Of course, it’s not cheap. The cost of this mission is $2.5 million. Do you think this is an appropriate use of government funds?
In my opinion, I do believe that space exploration is a crucial initiative for understanding and advancing our knowledge of the universe. I think that measuring atmospheric conditions can also provide us with more information about our ever-changing planet Earth. Still, I hope that humankind has the foresight not to merely scout out new living environments as a strategy for relocation after we make our planet uninhabitable. Read more at thebunsenburner.com.