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Larry CrumplerFebruary 10, 2017

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4639 - February 10, 2017

Opportunity has successfully clawed its way to within a few meters of the crater rim after spending the last few months climbing and the last two years inside the crater. There will be a short stop just inside the rim for one more look and then if all goes well a drive out onto the world of horizontally. THis will commence the adventure of driving south over the next few months to the mission goal of a water-cut gully in the crater rim.

This is the 14th year of surface operations on Mars. Odometry is currently at 27 miles (over 44 km).

Opportunity as of sol 4639

NASA / JPL-Caltech / NMMNH / Larry Crumpler

Opportunity as of sol 4639

Opportunity is finishing up and IDD activity on the local crater wall bedrock. The long slope down into the crater is now behind, the local slopes are less steep, and  the rim lies ahead.

The drive along the rim

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

The drive along the rim

Notice that the last part of the drive has been eastward and down into the crater.

Contour map of the crater rim

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

Contour map of the crater rim

This shows 1 meter contours. The crater rim is only about 40 meters away. The drive we are planning today should take Opportunity to just below the rim.

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

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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
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