Monday, December 19, 2011

Martian locality inside the Gusev Crater: Columbia Hills named to honor the crew of the space shuttle Columbia

The Columbia hills inside Crater Gusev on Mars are named to honor the crew of the space shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated over Texas after re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in February 2003 [1,2].

The Columbia Hills are a range of low hills inside Gusev Crater that were visited in 2004 by Mars rover Spirit, equipped with alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) as well as infrared and Mössbauer spectrometer [3]. With this technology on board, at least ten different types of rocks were identified at the Columbia site, which is exposing rock formations that are different and older than the lava-flooded surroundings of olevine-bearing basalts [1,4]: layered granular deposits were discovered in the Columbia Hills and have been interpreted to be volcanic ash and/or impact ejecta deposits that have been modified by aqueous fluids.

Keywords: astronomy, planetary science, areography, Martian topography, geology, space shuttle Columbia disaster, terminology.

References and more to explore
[1] Ulf von Rauchhaupt: Der Neunte Kontinent - Die wissenschaftliche Eroberung des Mars. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, November 2010; pages 181.
[2] Joseph Lorenzo Hall: Columbia and Challenger: organizational failure at NASA. Space Policy 2003, 19, pp. 239-247 [].
[3] > Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater, Aeolis quadrangle, Mars:
[4] R. E. Arvidson et al.: Overview of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Gusev Crater: Landing Site to Backstay Rock in the Columbia Hills. J. Geophys. Res. 2006, 111, E02S01 [].

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the share. Keep posting such kind of post on your blog. I bookmarked it for continuous visit.
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