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Rover Field Reports from Mars

Status Reports for MER Opportunity Rover at Endeavour Crater, Meridiani Planum

 

L. Crumpler, MER Science Team & New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still exploring Mars. Below is a brief field report summary of its latest activity.

 


Latest Report


Publish Date: 
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 10:30am

Opportunity has begun the drive down the long descending southward slope of the rim crest here. The destination is a notch in the rim of Endeavour crater which is also the head of a small and ancient water-cut valley. There is a good view south along the rim from this location, although a dusty one.

The view behind us shows that we are driving on a relatively smooth terrain of regolith, while to the east (left in this view) there are substantial outcrops of the impact crtaer breccias making up the crater rim. This is also the highest point on the rim. After this location we will be descending a good 100 meters or so to the next target on the rim.

The Pancam panorama looking south and the drive ahead shows where we are going. The bright mesa-like feature is over 800 meters away and just a 100 meters or so beyond the point where Opportunity is headed. You can also see the significant "hole" of the crater to the left of the rim. Notice that the regional dust storm is seriously impacting visiblity, as it is power.


 


Archived Reports


- Opportunity is near summit of this part of Endeavour crater rim

- the rock types that we have searched for may be in local outcrops

- winter power is looking good

• the climb continues along the crest of the crater rim

• Opportunity is now very high and the view is starting to be spectacular

• possible important outcrops spotted ahead

 

On sol3451 Opportunity began its climb of Solander Point. This is the highest “mountain” that Opportunity has tried to climb yet. The nice thing about this climb is the fact that it is all on a slope that faces north. Opportunity is solar powered, so north tilts are better for power generation during the winter here just south of the equator.

• Opportunity "wades ashore" at Solander Point on September 13

• climbing Solander Point is imminent

• spectacular Navcam panorama of the major geologic contact at this location

 

• Opportunity is at the base of Solander Point

• a boulder field here appears to be mostly vesicular basalt, a rock type that is not local

• shortly Opportunity will drive northwest along the scarp at the base of Solander Point

 

Opportunity arrived at the base of the next segment of the Endeavour crater rim and is now investigating the contact.

• less than 100m to go before “land fall” on Solander Point

• the next drive will put Opportunity at the “shore”

• a “new world” is about to be explored; what strange rocks and structures will we encounter?

 

• About to finish last observations in the plains before arrival at the next mountain

• There is a short stop here to measure one last rock in the plains

• Launch occurred over 10 years ago!

 

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