Opportunity's highway, and a tour of Block Island
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
15-09-2009 12:35 CDT
Just a cool image to start the morning: after a 70-meter drive yesterday, Opportunity's following not one but two sets of its own tracks. (After the drive on sol 1,950, Opportunity's drivers decided to backtrack in order to investigate Block Island; the tracks you see here were made on sols 1,950 and 1,952. These images were captured on sol 2,006.
Opportunity is heading a bit north of west, almost directly away from Endeavour crater. They're taking the detour in order to stay on good driving ground and avoid a nasty looking dune field full of "purgatoids" -- the kinds of dunes that kept Opportunity trapped for a little while back in 2005.
Before hitting the road again, Opportunity did a little driving tour around the Block Island meteorite. A member of unmannedspaceflight.com put together this neat animation of six color views of Block Island. If you'd like it in Quicktime form so you can rotate it back and forth, you can download that here (warning, it's 26 MB).