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Larry Crumpler

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3650 – May 2, 2014

Posted by Larry Crumpler

12-05-2014 11:09 CDT

Topics: Opportunity, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

• Opportunity continues driving south along the rim of Endeavour crater

• Now approaching next area of outcrop

• Solar panels remain very clean, cleanest since about sol 1600

• Approaching distance driving record

Opportunity is closing in on the next important outcrop area here on the rim of Endeavour crater. The outcrops just a hundred meters ahead have been identified from orbital remote sensing as having a strong aluminum hydroxide feature, so these are probably going to be interesting outcrops one way or another.

Opportunity looks out across Endeavour crater

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell

Opportunity looks out across Endeavour crater

A couple of weeks ago we got this great view from the crater rim looking out across the 22-km diameter Endeavour crater. This view is the part looking north and you can see Cape York and Nobby Head in the distance about 2 km away. Cape York was where we just spent a year or so figuring out the stratigraphy in this part of the world. Essentially the crater rim is ancient and greatly eroded. And the surrounding dark sands of Meridiani Planum have nearly buried the crater such that only small segments are left sticking out like islands in a sea of sand. 

Looking south along the rim of Endeavour crater

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell

Looking south along the rim of Endeavour crater

This was the view looking south along the rim to the next target just as we started driving in earnest towards our next outcrop campaign site. We drove off to the right of this image and then south. The rough outcrops in the center of the image in the distance just this side of the big mountain are the outcrops shown in the images below as the "Al-OH feature."

Oblique view of the traverse south up the rim of the Endeavour crater

NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

Oblique view of the traverse south up the rim of the Endeavour crater

Here is an oblique view of the traverse south up the rim of the Endeavour crater. We hope to go another 2.5 km south in this field season to the placed labeled “smectite valley.” But right now we are approaching the straight scarp where some hydrated minerals may be present. If so, we want to find where they are in the outcrop and come to understand how they got there.

HiRISE view of the escarpment

NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

HiRISE view of the escarpment

This is an overhead view from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter /HiRISE camera of the escarpment. Opportunity is a good 100 meters away.

 
See other posts from May 2014

 

Or read more blog entries about: Opportunity, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

Comments:

Bob Ware: 05/12/2014 10:32 CDT

Thanks for the nice images and commentary. I'm just curious... to date, what is the most intriguing piece of science for you across either MER or MSL spacecraft find? Mine is the differences in the possible type of water found (life supporting & not life supporting). Secondly, the shear expanse of the hematite.

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