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Charles Schmidt

I agree Oliver. Squyre's acumen and clarity in telling of the mission details has made the missions even more compelling and exciting than they already are. I am a guitarist and friend /student of the late John Fahey. My debut album, Xanthe Terra,coming on Strange-Attractors Audiohouse 6/05 is to be dedicated to Steve Squyres and his team.

Rupert Goodwins

Was this recorded, and is there any chance it will appear on the Net at some point?


Charles Schmidt

Xanthe Terra has been recorded and will be available in June here:
If you like the old Takoma school of playing with Fahey and Kottke, you'll love this. Steve Squyres responded by email enthusiastically, asking that the entire project team be included in the dedication which I plan to do.

Rupert Goodwins

Ah, no, I meant was the talk recorded :)

Although I see a fellow Wire subscriber at work. I may well check back.


Robert Clark

December 13, 2004
Mars Rovers Spot Water-Clue Mineral, Frost, Clouds.
"As its last major endeavor inside Endurance Crater, Opportunity made a close inspection of rock layers exposed in a part of the crater wall called "Burns Cliff." Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the rover instruments, said, 'In the lower portion of the cliff, the layers show very strong indications that they were last transported by wind, not by water like some layers higher up. The combination suggests that this was not a deep-water environment but more of a salt flat, alternately wet and dry."

If this was an ancient deep water site such as a lake or sea, we would expect the higher levels to reflect water driven layering. But as the water body dried up it would be more due to wind driven erosion.

Bob Clark

Bruce Moomaw

If I may advertise my own latest article yet again ( http://www.marsdaily.com/news/mars-future-05f.html ), there's a section in it briefly reviewing Steve Squyres' presentation to the first meeting of the Mars Strategic Roadmap Committee on the current status of the MERs' science findings -- and, as he said, we're looking in both places at relatively mild and intermittent exposures of the Martian soil to liquid water. In the case of the Columbia Hills, the groundwater may well never even have risen all the way to the surface at all -- it may even perhaps have existed entirely in the form of condensed steam that had been incorporated into the original volcanic ash. There is no evidence whatsoever in the Columbia Hills pointing toward their being lakebed sediments. In the case of Meridiani, such surface exposures did apparently exist (judging from the fine ripples in the layers), but they seem to have been very intermittent. We now definitely seem to be looking at a Noachian Mars that was cold and damp rather than warm and wet -- and whose water was also laced with substantial amounts of sulfuric acid. All of this continues to leave us seriously uncertain as to whether life could have evolved out of nonliving chemicals on Mars.

There are also some very good abstracts from
the upcoming LPSC and EGU meetings further elaborating on this:


Tom Tamlyn

Happy news, which I saw first on Rick Coffin's useful whatonmars.com site. Steve Squyres has resumed posting his periodic "mission updates" to the Athena Instrument site, http://athena.cornell.edu/. These updates, which Squyres started writing in 1999, form an extremely interesting journal of the mission. They crackle with the same communicable enthusiasm which Squyres displays at his press conferences. The archives are here: http://athena.cornell.edu/news/update_archive.shtml.

Tom Tamlyn

corrected url for the mission update archives:


Hi J!We hired a driver from Ayan Travel and did a day trip to the cratres. It's about 4 hours drive from Ashgabat, we arrived at around 6pm and stayed til 8pm, then back to Ashgabat by around 11pm. When you get your transit visa, even if they don't ask you on the app form, make sure you request your entry and exit points. We wanted to exit at Konye Urgench too but didn't request it and were given Farap as the exit point (Turkmenabat Bukhara) which screwed our routing. Luckily we were still able to see the cratres (which were obviously out of our transit route) because the checkpoint police don't really check. If you get unlucky, a ten/twenty dollar bill should sort things out.

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