Mars rover inspects next rock at Endeavour

Sep 15, 2011
The robotic arm of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity casts a shadow on a rock outcrop called "Chester Lake" in this image taken by the rover's front hazard-avoidance camera. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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.

The rocks at Endeavour apparently come from an earlier period of Martian history than the rocks that Opportunity examined during its first seven-and-a-half years on Mars.  More information about the ongoing exploration of Endeavour's rim is at: http://phys.org/news/2011-09-mars-rover-opportunity-verge-discovery.html .

Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit, completed their three-month prime missions on Mars in April 2004. Both rovers continued for years of bonus, extended missions. Both have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010.  will launch the next-generation Mars rover, car-size Curiosity, this autumn for arrival at Mars' Gale crater in August 2012.

Explore further: Iron-rich rocks could could hold signs of life

Related Stories

New Mars rover snapshots capture Endeavour crater vistas

Aug 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 ...

Opportunity heads toward 'Spirit Point'

Jun 09, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- When NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reaches the rim of a large crater it is approaching, its arrival will come with an inspiring reminder.

Opportunity passes small crater and big milestone

Jun 06, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A drive of 482 feet (146.8 meters) on June 1, 2011, took NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity past 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) in total odometry during 88 months of driving on Mars. That's ...

Rover arrives at new site on martian surface

Aug 10, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- After a journey of almost three years, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the Red Planet's Endeavour crater to study rocks never seen before.

Opportunity studying a football-field size crater

Dec 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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Iron-rich rocks could could hold signs of life

20 minutes ago

A robotic mission's search for life on Mars may seem worlds away from human scientists wandering around hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. But a study of the Yellowstone hot springs has revealed new ...

Ceres' bright spots come back into view

3 hours ago

The two brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres, which have fascinated scientists for months, are back in view in the newest images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Dawn took these images on April 14 and 15 from ...

Vesta—Ceres' little sister

4 hours ago

Only around 60 million kilometres closer to the Sun than Ceres, another large rock is orbiting in the remote asteroid belt: Vesta. Although its diameter of approximately 530 kilometres makes it a bit too ...

User comments : 0

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.