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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)

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is on the move again heading toward Rock Layers

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is trekking to a new study area still many weeks away. Soon the rover will celebrate its 10th Anniversary of leaving Earth.

The destination, called “Solander Point,” offers Opportunity access to a much taller stack of geological layering than the area where the rover has worked for the past 20 months, called “Cape York.” Both areas are raised segments of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, which is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to acquire this view of "Solander Point" during the mission's 3,325th Martian day, or sol (June 1st, 2013). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera (Pancam) to acquire this view of “Solander Point” during the mission’s 3,325th Martian day, or sol (June 1st, 2013). (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity takes photos of small Spherical Objects on an outcrop along the rim of Endeavour Crater

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.

Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop Opportunity reached last week differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed “blueberries” the rover found at its landing site in early 2004 and at many other locations to date.

Small spherical objects fill the field in this mosaic combining four images from the Microscopic Imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College)

Small spherical objects fill the field in this mosaic combining four images from the Microscopic Imager on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College)

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NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover rolling again after Fifth Mars Winter

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – With its daily supply of solar energy increasing, NASA’s durable Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has driven off the sunward-tilted outcrop, called Greeley Haven, where it worked during its fifth Martian winter.

Opportunity’s first drive since December 26th, 2011, took the rover about 12 feet (3.67 meters) northwest and downhill on Tuesday, May 8th. The rover operations team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, received confirmation of the completed drive late Tuesday, relayed from NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove about 12 feet (3.67 meters) on May 8, 2012, after spending 19 weeks working in one place while solar power was too low for driving during the Martian winter. The rover used its rear hazard-avoidance camera after nearly completing the May 8 drive, capturing this view looking back at the Greeley Haven. The dark shape in the foreground is the shadow of Opportunity's solar array. The view is toward the southeast. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove about 12 feet (3.67 meters) on May 8, 2012, after spending 19 weeks working in one place while solar power was too low for driving during the Martian winter. The rover used its rear hazard-avoidance camera after nearly completing the May 8 drive, capturing this view looking back at the Greeley Haven. The dark shape in the foreground is the shadow of Opportunity's solar array. The view is toward the southeast. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Durable NASA Opportunity Rover Beginning Ninth Year of Mars Work

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Eight years after landing on Mars for what was planned as a three-month mission, NASA’s enduring Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is working on what essentially became a new mission five months ago.

Opportunity reached a multi-year driving destination, Endeavour Crater, in August 2011. At Endeavour’s rim, it has gained access to geological deposits from an earlier period of Martian history than anything it examined during its first seven years. It also has begun an investigation of the planet’s deep interior that takes advantage of staying in one place for the Martian winter.

This mosaic of images taken in mid-January 2012 shows the windswept vista northward (left) to northeastward (right) from the location where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending its fifth Martian winter, an outcrop informally named "Greeley Haven." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.)

This mosaic of images taken in mid-January 2012 shows the windswept vista northward (left) to northeastward (right) from the location where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is spending its fifth Martian winter, an outcrop informally named "Greeley Haven." (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.)

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‘Greeley Haven’ is Winter Workplace for NASA’s Mars Rover

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will spend the next several months at a site informally named “Greeley Haven.” The name is a tribute to planetary geologist Ronald Greeley (1939-2011), who was a member of the science team for the Mars rovers and many other interplanetary missions.

The site is an outcrop that provides a sun-facing slope to aid in maintaining adequate solar power during the rover’s fifth Martian winter.  It also provides targets of scientific interest for the rover’s robotic arm to examine.

Approaching 'Greeley Haven' on Endeavour Rim: NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to capture this view of a northward-facing outcrop, "Greeley Haven," where the rover will work during its fifth Martian winter. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Approaching 'Greeley Haven' on Endeavour Rim: NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to capture this view of a northward-facing outcrop, "Greeley Haven," where the rover will work during its fifth Martian winter. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Video Documents Three-Year Trek on Mars by NASA Rover

 

Written by Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – While NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was traveling from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, between September 2008 and August 2011, the rover team took an end-of-drive image on each Martian day that included a drive. A new video compiles these 309 images, providing an historic record of the three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles (21 kilometers) across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.

It shows the rim of Endeavour becoming visible on the horizon partway through the journey and growing larger as Opportunity neared that goal. The drive included detours, as Opportunity went around large expanses of treacherous terrain along the way.

This image from the navigation camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the view ahead on the day before the rover reached the rim of Endeavour crater. It was taken during the 2,680th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image from the navigation camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the view ahead on the day before the rover reached the rim of Endeavour crater. It was taken during the 2,680th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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