NASA Audio File

NASA has Opportunity to View Interior of Mars
NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is allowing scientists to get their first glimpse deep inside Mars. A dark rock not much bigger than a basketball, perched on a rippled Martian plain, was in the company of Opportunity for the past two months. Dubbed "Marquette Island", the rock is providing a better understanding of the mineral and chemical makeup of the Martian interior.

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Matthew Golombek
Mars Exploration Rover Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

CUT 1 (:20): Golombek: “This does not look like a meteorite. It has no outside weathering material that looks like it came through the atmosphere, and we actually ratted into it we gotten rid of the weathering rind, and measured its composition and its a very olivine basalt.”
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CUT 2 (:26): Golombek:“So over the last year, it has been traversing from Victoria from the south southwest towards Endeavour crater. Endeavour crater is very large impact crater that is much older than others we have seen. On the rim there are layers of rocks that are rich in phyllosilicates which are thin layers, they are like clays here on earth.”
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CUT 3 (:24): Golombek:“We never never ever guessed it would last this long and I don’t think any of us ever guessed it would explore the myriad of different terrains and surprises that we found. The traverse from now to Endeavour Is very exciting for many of us, because there are a large number of things we want to investigate along the way.”
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Frank Hartman
Mars Exploration Rover Driver, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

CUT 4 (:18): Hartman: “I think everybody is stunned that the rovers are still going, It’s been repeated so many times, well this is was a 90 day mission, that we are 6 six years into a 90 day mission, which is just amazing, but here I am connected to the rover, and I am 6 years into a 90 day work assignment, but it’s great.”
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CUT 5 (:23): Hartman: “Well six years down the road, both of the rovers Opportunity and Spirit are confronting some breakdown. The arm on Opportunity is stuck so we don’t stow it anymore, we just sort of tuck it in front of the rover when we drive, one of our steering actuators is broken so that makes it a little tougher to drive but not too bad.”
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