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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spots Opportunity Rover on Mars Ridge

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new image from a telescopic camera orbiting Mars shows NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at work on “Murray Ridge,” without any new impact craters nearby.

The February 14th view from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is available online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA17941.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this view of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on Feb. 14, 2014. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this view of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on Feb. 14, 2014. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

Rover tracks from Opportunity, as well as the rover itself, are visible.

A rock, dubbed “Pinnacle Island,” appeared in January 2014 next to Opportunity where it had been absent a few days earlier.

After that, researchers using HiRISE planned this observation to check the remote possibility that a fresh impact by an object from space might have excavated a crater near Opportunity and thrown this rock to its new location. No fresh impact site is seen in the image.

Meanwhile, observations by the rover solved the Pinnacle Island mystery by finding where the rock had been struck, broken and moved by a rover wheel.

Murray Ridge is part of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, an impact scar that is billions of years old and about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Opportunity mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.

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


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