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Larry Crumpler

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4270 - January 28, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler

29-01-2016 13:53 CST

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

On January 23rd, Opportunity celebrated its 12th anniversary of landing on Mars. During that time we have driven the rover over 42 kilometers across the surface of Mars. We have seen more terrain, and more sunrises and sunsets on Mars than anyone before. Currently Opportunity is continuing its slow winter on Mars campaign exploring the south side of Marathon Valley here on the west rim of Endeavour crater. Winter solstice was January 3rd. Endeavour is an ancient crater, dating from the time when Mars had considerably more water. Like many martian craters from this time period, there is evidence from orbital observations that the rocks were altered to clay...that’s how wet it was. Opportunity is the first explorer to have a look at these altered rocks that occur in the rims of big and old craters.

Overview of Opportunity’s traverse thus far

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / NMMNH / Larry Crumpler

Overview of Opportunity’s traverse thus far
View of Opportunity's current position within Marathon Valley

NASA / JPL-Caltech / UA / NMMNH / Larry Crumpler

View of Opportunity's current position within Marathon Valley

We are currently headed west toward a prominent outcrop on the south valley wall. Opportunity is tilted more than 20 degrees north here on the valley wall, which is very good for winter power.

Latest image from January 27, looking at the outcrop after a short drive

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / ASU

Latest image from January 27, looking at the outcrop after a short drive
Color Pancam mosaic of the western valley

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / ASU

Color Pancam mosaic of the western valley
Opportunity will be leaving the valley in this direction at the end of the winter.
The latest Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) hole

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / USGS

The latest Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) hole
This is a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of 4 frames and is about 6 cm across.
 
See other posts from January 2016

 

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

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