Want to set foot on Mars? Budding astronauts can get the chance to experience life on Mars by watching the new video NASA released which showcases 3 minutes of the Mars Rover Opportunity's long journey on the surface of Mars.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU A portion of the west rim of Endeavour crater sweeps southward in this color view from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
The video which compiles 309 images the Mars Rover took as it travelled 13 miles from Victoria Crater across the desolate Martian wasteland of Meridiani Planum to Endeavor Crater.
The Opportunity took three years to travel 13 miles which might seem like a snail's pace to Earthbound watchers but Opportunity only travels two inches per second and the Martian landscape sometimes forces the Rover to travel slower than that. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab condensed all the images the Mars Rover took into a 3 minute time lapse video that captures the exotic landscape and the sense of utter alieness of the view from the Red Planet. Miles of sands stretch on, interrupted only by rocks and the Rover's tracks.
The video has sound that is actual sound recordings from Opportunity's accelerometers that have been sped up 1,000 times.
"The sound represents the vibrations of the rover while moving on the surface of Mars," Paolo Bellutta, a rover planner at JPL in Pasadena, Calif., said in NASA's video advisory.
"When the sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock. When the sound is softer, the rover was moving on sand."
The Mars Opportunity mission was launched back in July 2003 and was only intended for a 90-day mission. After eight years on Mars the Opportunity is still functioning and about to start on the Endeavor crater which is wider than the 13-miles it travelled to get there. The rover will conduct geological analysis on rock samples in the crater.