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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity 10 Years after it’s Launch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An image from Mars orbit taken 10 years after the launch of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the long-lived rover on its trek to a new destination on Mars.

The color image taken July 8th, 2013, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter catches Opportunity crossing relatively level ground called “Botany Bay” on its way to a rise called “Solander Point.”

This image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on July 8, 2013, captures NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity traversing south (at the end of the white arrow) to new science targets and a winter haven at "Solander Point," another portion of the Endeavour rim. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on July 8, 2013, captures NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity traversing south (at the end of the white arrow) to new science targets and a winter haven at “Solander Point,” another portion of the Endeavour rim. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

The image is available at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Photojournal.

“The Opportunity team particularly appreciates the color image of Solander Point because it provides substantially more information on the terrains and traverse that Opportunity will be conducting over the next phase of our exploration of the rim of Endeavour crater,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Scientist Matt Golombek of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.

Opportunity was launched from Florida’s Space Coast on July 7th, 2003, PDT and EDT (July 8th, Universal Time). The rover finished nearly two years of investigating an area called “Cape York” two months ago. Both Cape York and Solander Point are raised portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, which is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

An oblique, northward-looking view based on stereo orbital imaging, shows the location of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on its journey from Cape York to Solander Point when HiRISE took the new color image. Endeavour Crater is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. HiRISE first imaged Opportunity in 2006, the year Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began orbiting Mars with six science instruments. The rover had then just reached the edge of Victoria Crater, which is half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. Opportunity spent two years investigating Victoria Crater before heading toward much-larger Endeavour Crater.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, CO. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and Mars Exploration Rover Project are managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro .

For more information about Opportunity, visit http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov .

Written by Guy Webster
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


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