Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Mars Rover Arrives At Dramatic Vista On Red Planet

Date:
September 27, 2006
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity has arrived at the rim of a crater approximately five times wider than a previous stadium-sized one it studied for half a year. Initial images from the rover's first overlook after a 21-month journey to "Victoria Crater" show rugged walls with layers of exposed rock and a floor blanketed with dunes. The far wall is approximately one-half mile from the rover.

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity reached the rim of "Victoria Crater" in Mars' Meridiani Planum region with a 26-meter (85-foot) drive during the rover's 951st Martian day, or sol (Sept. 26, 2006). After the drive, the rover's navigation camera took the three exposures combined into this view of the crater's interior. This crater has been the mission's long-term destination for the past 21 Earth months.
Credit: Image NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity has arrived at the rim of a crater approximately five times wider than a previous stadium-sized one it studied for half a year.

Initial images from the rover's first overlook after a 21-month journey to "Victoria Crater" show rugged walls with layers of exposed rock and a floor blanketed with dunes. The far wall is approximately one-half mile from the rover.

"This is a geologist's dream come true," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for NASA's twin rovers Opportunity and Spirit. "Those layers of rock, if we can get to them, will tell us new stories about the environmental conditions long ago. We especially want to learn whether the wet era that we found recorded in the rocks closer to the landing site extended farther back in time. The way to find that out is to go deeper, and Victoria may let us do that."

Opportunity has been exploring Mars since January 2004, more than 10 times longer than its original prime mission of three months. It has driven more than 5.7 miles. Most of that was to get from "Endurance" crater to Victoria, across a flat plain pocked with smaller craters and strewn with sand ripples. Frequent stops to examine intriguing rocks interrupted the journey, and one large sand ripple kept the rover trapped for more than five weeks.

"We're so proud of Opportunity, the rover that 'takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'," said Cindy Oda, a Mars rover mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. "It continues to overcome all challenges despite its aging parts and difficult terrain. We are looking forward to exciting new discoveries as Opportunity begins its new adventure exploring Victoria crater."

Spirit, halfway around Mars and farther south of the planet's equator, has been staying at one northward-tilted position through the southern Mars winter for a maximum energy supply for its solar panels. Spirit is conducting studies that benefit from staying in one place, such as monitoring effects of wind on dust. It will begin driving again when the Martian spring increases the amount of solar power available.

Operations for both rovers will be minimized for much of October as Mars passes nearly behind the sun from Earth's perspective, making radio communication more difficult than usual.

Opportunity's view into the Victoria crater is available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/rovers

JPL manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Mars Rover Arrives At Dramatic Vista On Red Planet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060927175657.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2006, September 27). NASA Mars Rover Arrives At Dramatic Vista On Red Planet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060927175657.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Mars Rover Arrives At Dramatic Vista On Red Planet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060927175657.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 20, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft makes a scheduled Easter Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station

AP (Apr. 20, 2014) Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. (April 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Extremely Large Telescope Could Spot Alien Life

Extremely Large Telescope Could Spot Alien Life

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) Scientists are preparing to blow up a Chilean mountain to construct the Extremely Large Telescope, which will take detailed pictures of exoplanets. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

A Hoax? Cosmetics Company Wants To Brighten The Moon

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) FOREO, a Swedish cosmetics company, says it wants to brighten the moon to lower electricity costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins