Tuesday, July 7, 2015

8 minutes of Opportunity's Martian trek

This article includes an eight-minute time lapse video from the Opportunity hazard avoidance cameras (low on the robot's frame) that shows the trek it took from start to where it is now.  They're planning on where it will go during the cold and dim Martian winter.  The video includes sound based on the roughness of the Martian surface.

Opportunity's 7th Mars winter to include new study area

"The rover is working about half a football field's length away from entering the western end of "Marathon Valley," a notch in the raised rim of Endeavour Crater, which is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and has been studying the rim of Endeavour since 2011.

Engineers and scientists operating Opportunity have chosen Marathon Valley as the location for the solar-powered rover to spend several months, starting in August, to take advantage of a sun-facing slope loaded with potential science targets.

Marathon Valley stretches about three football fields long, aligned generally east-west. Observations of the valley using the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have detected exposures of clay minerals holding evidence about ancient wet environmental conditions. Researchers plan to use Opportunity to investigate relationships among these clay-bearing deposits."

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