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Spirit panorama
This amazing panorama of the martian surface at Columbia Hills was taken by the Spirit rover. Expert narration is provided by camera scientist Jim Bell. (2min 12sec file)
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Update on Mars rovers
Mars Exploration Rover project manager Jim Erickson and panoramic camera lead scientist Jim Bell offer comments on the status of the Spirit and Opportunity missions (1min 33sec file)
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Delta rocket assembly
The first stage of Boeing's Delta 2 rocket that will launch NASA's Swift gamma-ray burst detection observatory in November is erected on pad 17A at Cape Canaveral, Florida. (4min 52sec file)
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Solid boosters arrive
The three solid-fueled rocket boosters for the Boeing Delta 2 vehicle that will launch the Swift satellite are hoisted into the pad 17A mobile service tower. (4min 55sec file)
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SRBs go for attachment
The mobile service tower carries the solid boosters into position for attachment to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage. (3min 08sec file)
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Swift nose cone
The two halves of the 10-foot diameter rocket nose cone that will enclose NASA's Swift satellite during launch aboard a Boeing Delta 2 vehicle are lifted into the pad 17A tower. (4min 26sec file)
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ISS talk with students
The International Space Station crew holds an educational event to answers questions live with students at the Maryland Science Center. (24min 01sec file)
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Genesis to Houston
The solar wind samples retrieved by NASA's Genesis spacecraft finally arrive at Johnson Space Center facilities from the Utah landing site. (2min 51sec file)
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Opportunity leaves Endurance Crater
Posted: December 13, 2004

A frame from Opportunity's front hazard avoidance camera shows the rover's farewell glance at Endurance Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has left Endurance crater after spending more than six months inside the stadium-sized depression.

The rover climbed out of the crater on Sunday, its 315th Martian day. Project officials had carefully considered the decision to send Opportunity into the crater, because of concerns it might not be able to escape the crater's slippery slopes. The exit route was carefully planned and several options were considered. The rover final left by the same route it entered the crater.

Opportunity's next task will be to examine the heat shield that protected it during its fiery reentry on January 25. The heatshield lies close to Endurance and engineers want to check its condition. The shield is made out of an aluminum honeycomb structure and was coated with an ablative material to take the brunt of reentry.

After that, ground controllers plan to drive the rover south to a rugged region of etched terrain.

Opportunity's rear hazard avoidance camera looks at the road ahead, the plains south of Endurance Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL