May 20th, 2014 in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
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 panoramic camera (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 environmental conditions on ancient Mars—some very acidic, others milder and more conducive to supporting life.