Linda Moulton Howe (LMH): WHAT ABOUT THAT '2-HORNED' UNIDENTIFIED WHITE OBJECT DOWN BELOW THE OPPORTUNITY BEDROCK IN ONE OF THE PANORAMIC CAMERA IMAGES? COULD THE ROVER ARM PICK UP THE 2-PRONGED OBJECT TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS?
Ronald Greeley, Ph.D., Regents Prof. of Geology, Arizona State University, and a Lead Chair, Science Operations Working Group (SOWG), Mars Exploration Rover Mission, Tempe, Arizona (Prof. RG): No, we can't do that. The arm can't lift weight.
LMH: DO YOU KNOW IF THEY HAVE DONE ANYTHING WITH THE ROVER TO TRY TO GO TO THAT SPOT BELOW THE BEDROCK WHERE THAT ODD 2-PRONGED OBJECT WAS?
Prof. RG: No. The plan for today was to do a trenching operation with the wheels. If the trench is successful we are going to look at the stratigraphy in the soil and that would be our goal for seeing things like the composition of the crust and if there is any structure in the soil itself. That will be contingent on whether the wall of the trench stands up or just slides and fills in. But there are no plans to look at that feature that you are describing.
LMH: I WONDER WHY NOT BECAUSE IT IS SO PECULIAR.
Prof. RG: There has not been a lot of discussion of that in the team, so I don't think most of us feel that it amounts to anything.
LMH: HOW CAN IT BE DISMISSED THOUGH. WHAT IF IT IS A PLANT?
Prof. RG: I don't want to bring it up, but it's like the Face on Mars.
LMH: BUT THIS LOOKS SO 3-DIMENSIONAL WITH SHADOW AND EVERYTHING.
Prof. RG: I don't know.
How remarkably dismissive of him... :(