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HomeTech/ScienceNASA's Mars Opportunity Rover takes image of Rock Spire in "Spirit of...

NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover takes image of Rock Spire in “Spirit of St. Louis” Crater on Mars

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An elongated crater called “Spirit of St. Louis,” with a rock spire in it, dominates a recent scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Opportunity completed its 4,000th Martian day, or sol, of work on Mars on April 26th, 2015. The rover has been exploring Mars since early 2004.

This scene from late March 2015 shows a shallow crater called Spirit of St. Louis, about 110 feet (34 meters) long and about 80 feet (24 meters) wide, with a floor slightly darker than surrounding terrain.

An elongated crater called “Spirit of St. Louis,” with a rock spire in it, dominates a recent scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

The rocky feature toward the far end of the crater is about 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) tall, rising higher than the crater’s rim.

The component images of this mosaic view were taken on March 29th and 30th, 2015, during Sol 3973 and Sol 3974 of the mission.

This version of the image is presented in approximate true color by combing exposures taken through three of the Pancam’s color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

The view is centered toward the northeast. The rover’s location and the Spirit of Saint Louis Crater are near the center of a map at:

http://mars.nasa.gov/mer/mission/tm-opportunity/images/MERB_Sol3998_1.jpg

The unusually shaped Spirit of St. Louis Crater lies on the outer portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Endeavour spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter, and Opportunity has been exploring its western rim for about one-third of the rover’s mission, which has lasted more than 11 years.

Endeavour’s elevated western rim extends northward to the left from Spirit of St. Louis Crater in this scene. A glimpse of the far side of Endeavour is visible on either side of the rock spire.

For more about Opportunity’s mission, see:

http://mars.nasa.gov/mer

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