• Opportunity has left the winter haven and is still driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater

• Currently exploring an outcrop a few meters from crater rim

• Power remains excellent but there is much driving ahead


Opportunity is still driving along a prominent ridge where orbital remote sensing detected the presence of an Al-OH feature. We are driving about 20 meters every few sols, and stopping to look at the local outcrops to see if we can find the source of what must be some fairly altered rocks eher on the western rim of the 22 kilometer-diameter Endeavour impact crater..

 
As of this sol Opportunity is approaching the end of the local ridge on the crater rim. Ahead is a long traverse up and over a mountain similar in size to the one that Spirit climbed in the Columbia Hills at Gusev crater. Opportunity must traverse over this hill to get to the next most interesting site, the so-called "smectite valley", where orbital remote sensing says there is the "mother lode of all phyllosilicate occurrences."

 

This view shows the current location from the perspective way back when Opportunity was at Cape York a kilometer or so to the north. Check out the size of Cape Tribulation, the next big hill that Opportunity will need to climb in the coming months.

 

Here is an overhead view of the latest drive. Opportunity just "bumped" to a small outcrop visible in this overhead projection of the Navcam panoramas. We will be here a couple of sols before moving on.

 

And the corresponding view of the outcrop from the front Hazcams.

 

And part of the Pancam panorama just completed looking south from this ridge towards Cape Tribulation and beyond.