Should NASA throw Opportunity down the hole?

Endurance may contain astronomical amounts of data to be collected, and anyway the mission has already been more than succesful. The robots are already working fine for longer than expected too.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about, the robot Opportunity has reached the border of a crater called Endurance. Scientists find this crater more fascinating than anything ever seen before on the surface of Mars. But if Opportunity gets into the crater, it will never be able to climb out again.

The robots will be sending data for as long as September if things run as expected. If Opportunity gets down now, NASA will have a superb study on the crater, but will sacrifice the scouting that could be done on other areas.

So, should Opportunity go down the crater? I think there will be more gains than losses if it does so and vote yes.

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Hey, going to Mars is not a dumb thing! Saying so is like saying that XVth Century navigators going to the Americas was stupid!

I say, go for it. It ain’t like NASA ain’t got money to spare. :wink:

It is when we need to sort out our own damn planet before we fuck up another.

Too bad the only way to un-fuck up this planet is to kill off the human race. Let’s try again.

worships Starstorm

I would have the robot explore the rest of the planet as best as it can and then explore the huge crater.

Well see, I don’t believe that since y’know, there are still good people out there. You don’t kill a spider with a nuke. We just have to learn to respect the planet.

True, but the fact is, that as soon as humans started settling in and farming, we’ve been fucking up this planet. It’s been accelerated by the Industrial Revolution, but it still stands.

And all we can do is slow down the damage we do and perhaps repair a little of it. But we’re still going to continue to fuck Earth up. Thus the only way to un-fuck Earth up is to kill the human race off.

Still, once expects to keep one’s house clean. I’m not against trying to clean up earth, I’m against cleaning up earth to EXCLUSION OF ALL ELSE.

That said, it’s human nature to explore, to struggle and survive (and even prosper) against well… anything.

By the way, i say drop the sucker into the crater and try to get another probe in.

The questions that arise:
1-why is the crater so fascinating?
2-is it likely to find something as equally fascinating elsewhere?
3-what else do they know about the surroundings?
4-how sure are they that the robot is KO in September?

Well, doesn’t this statement just reek of hypocrisy! Let’s try again!

Sin, the crater might give some huge insight into Mars geological past. If ever there were large water bodies on Mars, that crater may be compared, geologically, to a seafloor.

As for other places like that nearby, there may be some, but Endurance is the deepest crater in the region. It makes for an easier study on the layers of rock.

As for the surroundings… I got no info on that.

And as for the KO being in September, I read it in a lot of articles. One of them is this one:

A quote form this article:

“Even though the extended mission is approved to September, and the rovers could last even longer, they also might stop in their tracks next week or next month. They are operating under extremely harsh conditions. However, while Spirit is past its ‘warranty,’ we look forward to continued discoveries by both rovers in the months ahead.”

As a side note, Endurance is full of Hematite. I have a polished hematite in my rock collection :slight_smile:

Considering it’s lifespan is severely limited, it mights as well explore whatever it can before the end.

Even a big big hole.

Rather a good article:

Thanks, Urkani :slight_smile:

If there’s a good chance of finding something new on mars, by all means they should explore the crater. Maybe they could explore the surrounding areas before they send Oportunity down into the crater.

The whole thing about the dillema is that more exploring outside the crater means less time to study it by the inside. It’s just that even if the rover spends months inside there, there will still be a lot left to study after the mission is over. It takes a real long time to make a proper study.

This is a decision I’m happy I’m not making. X_x

Opportunity triumphs over Endurance!