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Mars Rover to Enter Giant Crater - Audio Clips
09.07.07
 
After surviving a whopping dust storm this summer, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is about to begin what may be its biggest adventure yet -- climbing down into Victoria Crater, which is half a mile wide and is the largest feature visited by Opportunity during its 3-1/2 years on Mars.

More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/rovers.

CUT 1 - MARS EXPLORATION ROVER PROJECT MANAGER JOHN CALLAS OF NASA'S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY IN PASADENA (JPL) EXPLAINS THE APPEAL OF VICTORIA CRATER.
+ Play audio
Length: 23 seconds
OUT: "FEW MORE CHAPTERS"
Transcript: "It's a half-mile diameter crater, about 800 meters, and because it's so large, it also means it's deeper than anything we've examined before. And so going down into the crater is kind of like going back in time. It allows us to examine geology that normally would be buried, but it would be very old geology. So it's like reading a Martian history book and getting a few more chapters in."

CUT 2 -JOHN CALLAS SAYS A TRIP INTO A DEEP CRATER LIKE VICTORIA HAS RISKS, BUT THEY'VE CHECKED THE AREA VERY CAREFULLY.
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Length: 12 seconds
OUT: "BACK OUT AGAIN"
Transcript: "So we picked a spot where there are gentle slopes, there's a good footing for the rovers' mobility system. And so we think it's safe not only to go in, but to come back out again."

CUT 3 -JOHN CALLAS SAYS THAT BOTH OPPORTUNITY AND ITS TWIN MARS ROVER, SPIRIT, SURVIVED THIS SUMMER'S MASSIVE DUST STORMS BY GOING INTO HIBERNATION – BUT THERE WERE SOME TENSE TIMES.
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Length: 22 seconds
OUT: "KEEP THEMSELVES WARM"
Transcript: "We think this is probably the worst storm that's ever been observed from the surface of Mars. And it was potentially a rover-killing storm. The skies darkened so much that the rovers were at risk of survivability. And the main issue is power, the rovers need sunlight not only to operate but to keep themselves warm."