Opportunity studying a football-field size crater

Dec 23, 2010
A football-field-size crater, informally named "Santa Maria," dominates the scene in this 360-degree view from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Following a 25-meter (82-foot) drive on the 2,451st Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Dec. 16, 2010), Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the frames combined into this mosaic. South is at the center. North is at both ends. The view is presented as a cylindrical projection. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- On Dec. 16, 2010, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reached a crater about the size of a football field-some 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter. The rover team plans to use cameras and spectrometers during the next several weeks to examine rocks exposed at the crater, informally named "Santa Maria."

A mosaic of image frames taken by Opportunity's navigation camera on Dec. 16 shows the crater's sharp rim and rocks ejected from the impact that had excavated the crater.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission on Mars in April 2004 and has been working in bonus extended missions since then. After the investigations at Santa Maria, the rover team plans to resume a long-term trek by Opportunity to the rim of Crater, which is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter.

Explore further: Lockheed Martin successfully mates NOAA GOES-R satellite modules

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Opportunity rover halfway point reached

Sep 09, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- When NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Victoria Crater two years ago this month, the rover science team chose Endeavour Crater as the rover's next long-term destination. With ...

Image: Mars Rover Sees Distant Crater Rims on Horizon

May 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has captured a new view of the rim of Endeavour crater, the rover's destination in a multi-year traverse along the sandy Martian landscape.

On the Rim of 'Victoria Crater'

Sep 27, 2006

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity reached the rim of "Victoria Crater" in Mars' Meridiani Planum region with a 26-meter (85-foot) drive during the rover's 951st Martian day, or sol (Sept. 26, 2006). After the drive, ...

Mars Rover Seeing Destination in More Detail

Jun 29, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Mars rover team members have begun informally naming features around the rim of Endeavour Crater, as they develop plans to investigate that destination when NASA's Opportunity rover arrives ...

Recommended for you

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

17 hours ago

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

17 hours ago

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bockabob
not rated yet Jan 02, 2011
take a close look at the small dot above the horizon in the south (bottom of pic)... wow!