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MER/MRO AGU 2010
12.16.10
 
Panelists:

Ray Arvidson› Larger view
Ray Arvidson is James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis. He is deputy principal investigator for the science payload on NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers. On the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, he is a co-investigator for the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars. In addition, Arvidson serves as head of NASA's Planetary Data System Geosciences Node and is a director of NASA's Regional Planetary Image Center. He has more than 100 publications dealing with remote sensing of Earth, Mars and Venus. On earlier NASA Mars missions, he led science operations for the Phoenix Mars Lander, served as interdisciplinary scientist on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, and was science team leader for the imaging system on NASA's Viking Landers. Arvidson attended high school in Williamstown, N.J., then earned a bachelor's degree in geology from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a doctorate in geological sciences from Brown University, Providence, R.I.

Janice Bishop› Larger view
Janice Bishop is a senior research scientist with the SETI Institute's Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, Mountain View, Calif., and the NASA Ames Research Center's Space Science and Astrobiology Division, Moffett Field, Calif. She is a co-investigator for the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, working on spectral identification of hydrated minerals and surface alteration. She also works on analysis of data from the Panoramic Camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers and has participated in evaluation of potential landing sites for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. Her research activities, in addition to studies of Mars surface composition and processes, include analysis of meteorites and investigations related to the interaction between minerals and biology. Bishop earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree in applied Earth science from Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and a doctorate in chemistry from Brown University, Providence, R.I.

John Callas› Larger view
John Callas, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has been project manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project since March 2006. Previously, as science manager and then deputy project manager, he had helped lead the rover project since 2000. Callas grew up near Boston, Mass. He received his bachelor's degree in Engineering from Tufts University, Medford, Mass., in 1981 and received a masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1983 and 1987, respectively. He joined JPL to work on advanced spacecraft propulsion, which included such futuristic concepts as electric, nuclear and antimatter propulsion. In 1989, he began work supporting the exploration of Mars with the Mars Observer mission, and hehas since worked on seven Mars missions. In addition to his Mars work, Callas is involved in the development of instrumentation for astrophysics and planetary science, and teaches mathematics at Pasadena City College, Pasadena, Calif., as an adjunct faculty member.



Janice Bishop Image - 1

Regions of Mars with Clays and Hydrated Minerals Identified from Orbit

Map showing regions of Mars with clays and hydrated minerals
› Full image and caption

On this map of Mars, areas indicated in green are where spectrometers on spacecraft orbiting Mars have detected clay minerals and areas indicated in blue are where those spectrometers have detected hydrated minerals (clays, sulfates and others).

Both clay and sulfate minerals are important for understanding past environmental conditions on Mars.

Detections mapped here were made by the OMEGA visible and infrared mineralogical mapping spectrometer (Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité) on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter and by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, reported by Bethany Ehlmann and François Poulet of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France, and Janice Bishop of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif.

Observations by these spectrometers identified the hydrated minerals, including clays, after NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had landed in January 2004, but the rover is still active, and is now close to exposures seen from orbit of each of these types of minerals.

The base map is shaded topography based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL



Janice Bishop Image - 2

Geologic Setting of Opportunity Traverse and Meridiani Planum

Map indicates geological units in a region of Mars
› Full image and caption

This map indicates geological units in the region of Mars around a smaller area where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has driven from early 2004 through late 2010.

The blue-coded unit encompassing most of the southern half of the mapped region is ancient cratered terrain. In the northern region, it is overlain by younger sediments of the Meridiani Plains, punctuated by the even younger Bopulu impact. At Endeavour Crater, in the upper right near the gold line of Opportunity's traverse, ancient cratered terrain is exposed around the crater rim. Locations where orbital observations have detected clay minerals are indicated at the western edge of Endeavour and at two locations in the southern portion of the map.

The scale bar is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). The mineral mapping was done by Sandra Wiseman and Ray Arvidson of Washington Universty in St. Louis based on observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL/WUSTL


Janice Bishop Image - 3

Perspective View of Damascus Sulcus, Enceladus

Diagram of internal rock composition
› Full image and caption

This map indicates geological units in the region of Mars around a smaller area where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has driven from early 2004 through late 2010.

The blue-coded unit encompassing most of the southern half of the mapped region is ancient cratered terrain. In the northern region, it is overlain by younger sediments of the Meridiani Plains, punctuated by the even younger Bopulu impact. At Endeavour Crater, in the upper right near the gold line of Opportunity's traverse, ancient cratered terrain is exposed around the crater rim. Locations where orbital observations have detected clay minerals are indicated at the western edge of Endeavour and at two locations in the southern portion of the map.

The scale bar is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). The mineral mapping was done by Sandra Wiseman and Ray Arvidson of Washington Universty in St. Louis based on observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL/WUSTL


Ray Arvidson Image - 1

Geologic Setting of Opportunity Traverse and Meridiani Planum

Opportunity's path on Mars
› Full image and caption

This map indicates geological units in the region of Mars around a smaller area where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has driven from early 2004 through late 2010.

The blue-coded unit encompassing most of the southern half of the mapped region is ancient cratered terrain. In the northern region, it is overlain by younger sediments of the Meridiani Plains, punctuated by the even younger Bopulu impact. At Endeavour Crater, in the upper right near the gold line of Opportunity's traverse, ancient cratered terrain is exposed around the crater rim. Locations where orbital observations have detected clay minerals are indicated at the western edge of Endeavour and at two locations in the southern portion of the map.

The scale bar is 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). The mineral mapping was done by Sandra Wiseman and Ray Arvidson of Washington Universty in St. Louis based on observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL/WUSTL


Ray Arvidson Image - 2

Orbital Observations of Crater on Mars Rover's Route

Orbital observations of crater on Mars rover's route
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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity approached Santa Maria Crater in December 2010. With a diameter of about 90 meters (295 feet), this crater is slightly smaller than Endurance Crater, which Opportunity explored for about half a year in 2004.

This image of Santa Maria Crater was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The rover team plans to use Opportunity for investigating Santa Maria for a few weeks before resuming the rover's long-term trek toward Endeavour Crater. One planned target area is at Santa Maria's southeast rim. The red circle marked there on Figure 1 indicates the pixel size and location of an observation by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that has piqued researchers' interest. The spectrum recorded by CRISM for this spot, unlike the spectrum recorded for the place indicated by the blue circle on the floor of the crater, suggests what might be a water-bearing sulfate mineral. Although Opportunity has detected such minerals on the surface during its nearly seven years on Mars, none have been detected from orbit at a place visited by Opportunity.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona


Ray Arvidson Image - 3

Spectra of Two Places at Santa Maria Crater

Graph shows spectral information from orbital observations of two parts of Santa Maria Crater on Mars
› Full image and caption

This graph shows spectral information from orbital observations of two parts of Santa Maria Crater by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Brightness of reflected sunlight is on the vertical axis, and wavelengths of light are on the horizontal axis. The red line is from observation of a spot about 18 meters (about 60 feet) across on the southeast rim of the crater. The blue line is from observation of a spot on the crater floor. The observation for the southeast rim suggests a hydrated sulfate. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is approaching Santa Maria Crater in December 2010. The rover team plans to use the rover to investigate rock composition at the south east rim. Opportunity has seen hydrated sulfates during the rover's nearly seven years on Mars, but that type of mineral has never previously been detected from orbit at a site visited by Opportunity.

This is the first example of using mineral-detection information from orbit for making tactical plans about operating a Mars rover.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL


Ray Arvidson Image - 4

Opportunity's View of Santa Maria Crater, Sol 2450

Opportunity's view of Santa Maria crater
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to record this view of Santa Maria crater at the end of a drive during the 2,450th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Dec. 15, 2010). The drive brought Opportunity to the western edge of this crater, and this view is eastward across the crater.

Santa Maria crater is about 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter. The rover team plans to spend a few weeks investigating this crater before resuming Opportunity's long-term trek toward Endurance Crater.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/


Ray Arvidson Image - 5

Geologic Map, West Rim of Endeavour Crater, Mars

Map indicates some of the geological information gained from orbital observations of Endeavour Crater on Mars
› Full image and caption

This map indicates some of the geological information gained from orbital observations of Endeavour Crater, which has been the long-term destination for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity since mid-2008.

Endeavour Crater is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. As indicated by the scale bar of one kilometer (0.6 mile), this map covers only a small portion of the crater's western rim. A discontinuous ridge runs north-south, exposing basalt (coded blue) and clay minerals (coded green) believed to be from a time in Martian history before the deposition of sulfates on the portions of the Meridiani Plains region that Opportunity has seen during the rover's first seven years on Mars.

The rover team plans to begin Opportunity's exploration of the Endeavour rim near "Cape York," which is about 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) from the rover's location in mid-December 2010. Cape York is nearly surrounded by exposures of hydrated bedrock. From there, the planned exploration route goes south along the rim fragment "Solander Point," to "Cape Tribulation," where clay minerals have been detected.

This geological map is based on observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL.


Ray Arvidson Image - 6

Super-Resolution View of Cape Tribulation, Sol 2298

Eastward view of the horizon on the 2,298th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera in a super-resolution technique to record this eastward view of the horizon on the 2,298th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (July 11, 2010).

Rising highest above the horizon in the right half of the image is a portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater including a ridge informally named "Cape Tribulation" (see Fig. 1).

Super-resolution is an imaging technique combining information from multiple pictures of the same target in order to generate an image with a higher resolution than any of the individual images.

Endeavour Crater is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The rover team chose Endeavour as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. More than a year later, observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed clay minerals on Endeavour's western rim, making the destination even more enticing for Opportunity's investigation. Cape Tribulation is one location where the clay minerals are exposed.

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University


Supplemental images Image - 1

East Rim of Endeavour Crater in Opportunity's View, Sol 2407 (False Color)

East Rim of Endeavour Crater
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to record this eastward horizon view on the 2,407th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Oct. 31, 2010). The view is presented in false color to make differences in surface materials more visible.

A portion of Endeavour Crater's eastern rim, nearly 30 kilometers (19 miles) in the distance, is visible over the Meridiani plain. Endeavour is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The rover team chose Endeavour Crater as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. The rover is headed for a portion of Endeavour's western rim not visible in this image.

This view combines exposures taken through three filters of the panoramic camera (Pancam) admitting wavelengths of 752 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers.

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University



Supplemental images Image - 2

East Rim of Endeavour Crater in Opportunity's View, Sol 2407

East Rim of Endeavour Crater
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to record this eastward horizon view on the 2,407th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Oct. 31, 2010).

A portion of Endeavour Crater's eastern rim, nearly 30 kilometers (19 miles) in the distance, is visible over the Meridiani plain. Endeavour is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The rover team chose Endeavour Crater as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. The rover is headed for a portion of Endeavour's western rim not visible in this image.

This view is presented in approximately true color by combining exposures taken through three filters of the panoramic camera (Pancam) admitting wavelengths of 752 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers.

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University


Supplemental images Image - 3

Rim of Endeavour on Opportunity's Horizon, Sol 2424 (False Color)

Rim of Endeavour crater on Mars
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to record this eastward view of the horizon on the 2,424th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Nov. 18, 2010). The view is presented in false color to make differences in surface materials more visible.

Portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, several kilometers or miles in the distance, are visible at the left, middle and far-right of the image, rising above the Meridiani plain. Endeavour Crater is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The portion of the rim visible on the left in this image is at the northern edge of Endeavour. The portion in the middle of the image is on the crater's eastern edge of the crater. The portion at the far right is on the Endeavour's western rim, closer to Opportunity. An orbital view at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11837 offers context.

The rover team chose Endeavour Crater as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. More than a year later, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed on Endeavour's western rim. James Wray of Cornell University, and co-authors, reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

This view combines exposures taken through three filters of the panoramic camera (Pancam) admitting wavelengths of 752 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers.

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University


Supplemental images Image - 4

Rim of Endeavour on Opportunity's Horizon, Sol 2424

Rim of Endeavour crater on Mars
› Full image and caption

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to record this eastward view of the horizon on the 2,424th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Nov. 18, 2010).

Portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, several kilometers or miles in the distance, are visible at the left, middle and far-right of the image, rising above the Meridiani plain. Endeavour Crater is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The portion of the rim visible on the left in this image is at the northern edge of Endeavour. The portion in the middle of the image is on the crater's eastern edge of the crater. The portion at the far right is on the Endeavour's western rim, closer to Opportunity. An orbital view at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11837 offers context.

The rover team chose Endeavour Crater as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. More than a year later, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed on Endeavour's western rim. James Wray of Cornell University, and co-authors, reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.

This view is presented in approximately true color by combining exposures taken through three of the panoramic camera's filters, admitting wavelengths of 752 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers.

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University



Supplemental videos Video- 1

Opportunity's traverse on Mars from landing day to Santa Maria crater





Supplemental videos Video- 2

Opportunity view of Endeavour crater from panorama camera





Supplemental videos Video- 3

Navigation camera movie of Opportunity's view towards Endeavour crater