NASA rover gains Martian vista from ridgeline

May 20, 2014
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

The rim surrounding Endeavour Crater on Mars recedes southward, then sweeps around to the east in a vista obtained by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The view is from high on the south end of the "Murray Ridge" portion of the crater's western rim.

The image was assembled from multiple exposures taken by Opportunity's (Pancam) in April. It shows locations along the rim that the rover has subsequently reached and may explore in the future.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover spent several months exploring portions of Murray Ridge. Since reaching the local high point on the ridgeline from which this panorama was taken, the rover has proceeded southward to reach an exposure of aluminum-rich clay detected from orbit.

During Opportunity's first decade on Mars and the 2004-2010 career of its twin, Spirit, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project yielded a range of findings proving wet on ancient Mars—some very acidic, others milder and more conducive to supporting life.

Opportunity's Tracks Near Crater Rim Ridgeline: The component images for this 360-degree panorama were taken by the navigation camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity after the rover drove about 97 feet (29.5 meters) during the mission's 3,642nd Martian day, or sol (April 22, 2014). The rover drove southwestward that sol, so the tracks from this end-of-drive position recede toward the northeast. For scale, the distance between the two parallel tracks is about 3.3 feet (1 meter). The position is just west of the ridgeline of the west rim of Endeavour Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Approaching a Target Deposit on Mars Crater Rim: NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to capture the component images for this 360-degree view near the ridgeline of Endeavour Crater's western rim. The view is centered toward southeast, from the rover's position just west of the western rim's ridgeline on the mission's 3,659th Martian day, or sol (May 10, 2014). The western rim of the crater extends northward to the left and southward to the right. Endeavour Crater is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. Its distant rim is visible on the horizon at center. The outcrop on the slope to the right of center corresponds to the northern end of an area where a concentration of aluminum-containing clay has been detected in observations by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. That detection from orbit made the outcrop a favored target for investigation by Opportunity. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Endeavour Crater Rim From 'Murray Ridge' on Mars, False Color. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

Explore further: Opportunity heads toward 'Spirit Point'

More information: The panorama is available online:

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