Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2002 November 26
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Name This Martian Robot
Drawing Credit: Maas Digital, Mars Exploration Rover Mission Team, JPL, NASA

Explanation: NASA will launch two robots to Mars next year and you can help name them. The Mars Exploration Rovers are scheduled for launch on or near this coming June, when Mars and Earth are relatively close in their orbits. The landing craft are expected to touch down on Mars in January 2004 and deploy the robot rovers shortly thereafter. Rovers have the capability to crawl about 100 meters each day of their planned 90-day mission. The mission's scientific purpose is to seek out and inspect interesting rocks and terrain that could give clues to the past of Mars. Suggestions for names should be sent here, accompanied by a short essay, by 2003 January 31. (Eds. Note: The contest is only open to school children in grades K-12.)

Tomorrow's picture: Leonids and Leica

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& NASA SEU Edu. Forum
& Michigan Tech. U.