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Video Documents Three-Year Trek on Mars by NASA Rover


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

While NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was traveling from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, between September 2008 and August 2011, the rover team took an end-of-drive image on each Martian day that included a drive. A new video compiles these 309 images, providing an historic record of the three-year trek that totaled about 21 kilometers across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.

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False navigation camera colour image of breccia located on Cape York, on the edge of the Endeavour Crater, acquired by the Opportunity rover on sol 2713 (the 2,713th day of Opportunitys mission).

OppSol2713b.jpg
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NASA Rover Inspects Next Rock at Endeavour

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is using instruments on its robotic arm to inspect targets on a rock called "Chester Lake."
This is the second rock the rover has examined with a microscopic imager and a spectrometer since reaching its long-term destination, the rim of vast Endeavour crater, in August. Unlike the first rock, which was a boulder tossed by excavation of a small crater on Endeavour's rim, Chester Lake is an outcrop of bedrock.

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NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Martian Crater
 
The initial work of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity at its new location on Mars shows surface compositional differences from anything the robot has studied in its first 7.5 years of exploration.
Opportunity arrived three weeks ago at the rim of a 22-kilometre-wide crater named Endeavour. The first rock it examined is flat-topped and about the size of a footstool. It was apparently excavated by an impact that dug a crater the size of a tennis court into the crater's rim. The rock was informally named "Tisdale 2."

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Elevated Zinc and Bromine in Rock on Endeavour Rim

Tisdale2.gif
This graphic presents information gained by examining part of the Martian rock called "Tisdale 2" with the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer on Mars rover Opportunity and comparing the composition measured there with compositions of other targets examined by Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit.

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Area of Arrival at Endeavour

583979main_pia14537-673.jpg
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

This image taken from orbit shows the path of the path driven by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in the weeks around the rover's arrival at the rim of Endeavour crater. The sol number (number of Martian days since the rover landed on Mars) are indicated along the route. Sol 2674 corresponds to Aug. 2, 2011; Sol 2688 corresponds to Aug. 16, 2011.

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Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity Reaches Endeavour Crater

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NASA Announces Media Telecon About Opportunity Rover

NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. PDT (3:30 p.m. EDT) to discuss progress of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Opportunity reached the Martian Endeavour crater earlier this month after years of driving.
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OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:  Opportunity Studies Rocks on Crater Rim - sols 2690-2696, August 18-24, 2011:

Opportunity has begun the in-situ (contact) investigation of rocks around the rim of Endeavour crater.

On Sol 2690 (Aug. 18, 2011), the rover began the approach to a large ejecta block, named "Tinsdale 2" with a 4-metre drive.
On Sol 2692 (Aug. 20, 2011), Opportunity completed the approach to Tinsdale 2 with a turn-around to face the rock and a short 2-metre forward approach to the target.
On Sol 2694 (Aug. 22, 2011), Opportunity started the multi-sol, multi-target in-situ (contact) investigation with a Microscopic Imager (MI) mosaic of a set of surface targets collectively named "Timmins," followed by a placement of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) for an overnight integration.
On Sol 2695 (Aug. 23, 2011), the rover collected another MI mosaic on a different target spot, again followed by an overnight APXS integration.
On Sol 2696 (Aug. 24, 2011), Opportunity did it again with another set of MI mosaics and an APXS integration.

As of Sol 2695 (Aug. 23, 2011), solar array energy production was 366 watt-hours with an atmospheric opacity (Tau) of 1.07 and a solar array dust factor of 0.546.

Total odometry is 33,525.53 metres, or 33.53 kilometres.



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New Rover Snapshots Capture Endeavour Crater Vistas

 

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has captured new images of intriguing Martian terrain from a small crater near the rim of the large Endeavour crater. The rover arrived at the 13-mile-diameter (21-kilometer-diameter) Endeavour on Aug. 9, after a journey of almost three years.
Opportunity is now examining the ejected material from the small crater, named "Odyssey." The rover is approaching a large block of ejecta for investigation with tools on the rover's robotic arm.

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