WashU Expert: Mission complete

Ray Arvidson, professor of Earth and planetary sciences and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, talks about the end of Opportunity’s longer-than-expected 15-year mission — he was the deputy principal investigator for the Mars exploration rover for NASA.

Wandering ice on Mars

Glaciations on Mars are different from those on Earth. During a Martian glacial period, water vapor that would otherwise travel to the north polar cap instead snows out at lower latitudes, where ice then accumulates. Radargrams of the north polar region of Mars record the most recent mid-latitude Martian glacial period and the regrowth of the polar ice since then.

WashU Expert: Arvidson on news that water still flows on Mars

NASA announced earlier this week that dark streaks that appear on Martian slopes in the summer, lengthen and then fade as winter approaches are seeps of salty water. The news that Mars still has surface water again raised hopes that it may have life. It will take thoughtful mission planning to find out, says Washington University in St. Louis Mars expert Ray Arvidson, PhD.

Spirit of St. Louis on Mars

The Opportunity rover is currently exploring a Martian crater named the Spirit of St. Louis, after the famous aircraft — which was in turn named in honor of St. Louis citizens who purchased it for Charles Lindbergh. The mission team picked this naming scheme because Washington University team members spotted a promising target just beyond the crater. As long as the rover remains in the crater, the names will drawn from a list of names related to the famous flight.

Robots on Mars

Before his Assembly Series talk, Adam Steltzner, a NASA engineer in charge of the Mars Curiosity rover landing, met with WUSTL students and discussed their entry for NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition.

Happy 10th anniversary Opportunity!

Ten years ago, on Jan. 24, 2004, the Opportunity rover landed on a flat plain in the southern highlands of the planet Mars and rolled into an impact crater scientists didn’t even know existed. In honor of the rover’s 10th anniversary, Ray Arvidson, PhD, deputy principal investigator of the rover mission, recently took an audience on a whirlwind tour of the rover’s decade-long adventures and discoveries.

NASA’s Opportunity at 10: new findings from old rover

In the Jan. 24 edition of the journal Science, Ray Arvidson, PhD, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and deputy principal investigator of the MER mission to Mars, writes in detail about the discoveries made by the Opportunity rover and how these discoveries have shaped our knowledge of the planet.
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