Join Donate

Larry CrumplerJanuary 29, 2016

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

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.

Read more: Opportunity, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars

You are here:
Larry Crumpler
Larry Crumpler

Research Curator Volcanology and Space Sciences/Associate Research Professor for New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science/University of New Mexico
Read more articles by Larry Crumpler

Comments & Sharing
MER
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Mars
Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process. Funding is crucial.

Donate