(PhysOrg.com) -- After five groundbreaking years exploring the Red Planet, the communications engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory pretty much know what they are getting when another downlink from Spirit or Opportunity arrives. They know that with a typical transmission comes about 10 megabits of engineering data, another 4 megabits of science data, and around 26 megabits of images. They also realize that after the information is amassed and analyzed by the rovers' science teams that the most unique, scientifically exciting of that compiled data will be released via peer-reviewed papers, articles, science briefings and press releases.
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Socializing on Mars
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