Color view from orbit shows mars rover beside crater

March 10, 2011
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this color image on March 9, 2011, of "Santa Maria" crater, showing NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity perched on the southeast rim. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has nearly completed its three-month examination of a crater informally named "Santa Maria," but before the rover resumes its overland trek, an orbiting camera has provided a color image of Opportunity beside Santa Maria.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's acquired the image on March 1, while Opportunity was extending its robotic arm to take close-up photos of a rock called "Ruiz Garcia." From orbit, the tracks Opportunity made as it approached the from the west are clearly visible. Santa Maria crater is about 90 meters (295 feet) in diameter.

March 1 corresponded to the 2,524th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on . A raw image from Opportunity's front hazard-avoidance camera from the same day, showing the arm extended to Ruiz Garcia, is below.

To complete the scale of imaging, a raw image taken by Opportunity's microscopic imager that day, shows textural detail of the rock:

Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission on Mars in April 2004 and has been working in bonus extended missions since then. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which arrived at Mars on March 10, 2006, has also completed its prime mission and is operating in an extended mission.

Explore further: On the Rim of 'Victoria Crater'

Related Stories

On the Rim of 'Victoria Crater'

September 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, the rover's ...

Mars rover Opportunity sets out on its greatest journey yet

September 25, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Mars rover Opportunity, which has just crawled out of the 800-meter-wide (875 yards) Victoria Crater is setting out on the longest journey of its life. It will take the rover roughly two years of driving ...

Opportunity rover halfway point reached

September 9, 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 a drive of 111 meters ...

Opportunity studying a football-field size crater

December 23, 2010

(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 ...

Opportunity rover will spend 7th birthday at stadium-size crater

January 4, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a Dec. 31, 2010, view of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the southwestern rim of a football-field-size ...

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Modernmystic
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2011
Now if we could only get the moon cranks to shut up. But I suppose any pictures of the stuff we left behind there would be classified as "doctored photography" when filtered through crankologic.
panorama
5 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2011
We could just get Buzz Aldrin to punch all the cranks. It could be a new reality show.
PieRSquare
5 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2011
We could just get Buzz Aldrin to punch all the cranks. It could be a new reality show.

That would be the best show ever!
"You wanna see stars? I'll show you stars! Zip, pow, to the moon!!!"
PS3
3 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2011
I like how we can see the rover tracks better than the moon tracks..must really be fake.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.