Opportunity rover tops 35 kilometers of driving

Opportunity rover tops 35 kilometers of driving
The Opportunity Mars rover looks back at the tracks left along the rim of Endeavour Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Meanwhile, back in Meridiani Planum … the Opportunity rover keeps on trucking, and has now exceeded over 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) of driving on its odometer! Quite an accomplishment for the Energizer Bunny of Mars rovers, now operating for 3,057 Martian sols. As the MER team says, "Not bad for a vehicle designed for only about 1 kilometer (.6 miles) of distance and 90 sols (days) of lifetime."

Oppy is now moving south along the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater surveying exposed outcrop in search of phyllosilicate that have been detected from orbit. These outcrops are quite interesting and attention-grabbing; here's a look in color from Stuart Atkinson:

Opportunity rover tops 35 kilometers of driving
Credit: NASA/JPL

and in 3-D:

Opportunity rover tops 35 kilometers of driving
Credit: NASA/JPL

Wow!

As Stu writes in his Road to Endeavour blog, "What are those rocks made of? How did this feature form? What do the diferent colours and textures mean? These are all questions which the MER team will be hoping to answer over the next few days, I'm sure. I think we'll see Oppy driving closer to this outcrop and studying it in a lot of detail."

The MER team reports that on Sol 3055 (Aug. 27, 2012), the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on the end of the robotic arm was imaged (top image) to re-confirm the available bit for future grinding and the X- (APXS) collected a measurement of atmospheric argon.

Opportunity's energy production is good, producing about 568 watt-hours.

So, even though the Curiosity rover is grabbing the headlines, don't forget that Opportunity is still keepin' on, working hard on Mars.


Explore further

Mars rover inspects next rock at Endeavour

More information: marsrover.nasa.gov/mission/status.html#opportunity
Source: Universe Today
Citation: Opportunity rover tops 35 kilometers of driving (2012, September 3) retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-opportunity-rover-tops-kilometers.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments