Larry CrumplerSep 09, 2016

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4482 - September 2, 2016

Opportunity has arrived at "Lewis and Clark Gap" with a new view to the south. It is about to leave Marathon Valley for good and head south into the next valley. This marks the beginning of the current extended mission plan. At the end of the drive on sol 4482, Opportunity parked in a saddle between Knudsen and Wharton Ridges here on the west rim of Endeavour crater. Terrain is steep and there are places that we will continue to avoid in order to preserve drive options. It is easy to go down, but can be impossible to go back up slope if you are not careful. This is another planet and we are blazing a trail like Lewis and Clark.

Opportunity's route through sol 4482
Opportunity's route through sol 4482 NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS / NMMNH / Larry Crumpler

The current status of the 42-kilometer overall traverse from the landing site to Marathon Valley on the western rim of Endeavour impact crater. Opportunity has driven over 9 km along the rim of Endeavour crater since arrival.

Opportunity's walk-about path in Marathon Valley
Opportunity's walk-about path in Marathon Valley NASA / JPL-Caltech / UA / NMMNH / Larry Crumpler

The walk-about path executed within Marathon Valley over the past year. Currently Opportunity is perched in the saddle between two steep-sided ridges on the south side of marathon Valley. If the way ahead is good, Opportunity will soon drop down into the next valley to the south and head down to the lower slopes of the crater wall.

Looking south from Marathon Valley
Looking south from Marathon Valley NASA / JPL-Caltech

View from the Hazcam looking south.

Looking south, sol 4482
Looking south, sol 4482 NASA / JPL-Caltech

The Navcam frame looking south from the current location. Looks good so far.

Perched on the ridge
Perched on the ridge NASA / JPL-Caltech

Opportunity immersed within the current set of images. This gives you the correct impression that Opportunity is perched on a high ridge with a relatively commanding view of the valley ahead as well as the floor of Endeavour crater.

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