NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
Mars for Press
Summary
Press Releases
Press Kits
Fact Sheets
Image Gallery
Press Releases

September 13, 2007

Opportunity Begins Sustained Exploration Inside Crater

Opportunity Begins Sustained Exploration Inside Crater
After a finishing an in-and-out maneuver to check wheel slippage near the rim of Victoria Crater, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity re-entered the crater.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

View Larger Image and Caption
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity finished the last step of a test in-and-out maneuver checking wheel slippage at the rim of Victoria Crater today. Then the rover immediately drove back into the crater as the start of a multi-week investigation on the big bowl's inner slope.

Opportunity started the day with just two of its six wheels inside the rim of Victoria Crater and ended the day's driving about six meters (20 feet) inside the rim.

The mission's first destination inside the crater is a light-toned layer of exposed rock that may preserve evidence of interaction between the Martian atmosphere and surface from millions of years ago. Victoria exposes a taller stack of ancient rock layers than any crater Opportunity has previously visited during the rover's nearly 44 months on Mars. The mission was originally planned for three months.

"We want to maintain a safe egress route out of the crater for Opportunity, and by completing the back-up drive over the sand ripple at the rim, we have confirmed that we have one," said John Callas, Mars rover project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Opportunity is now exploring the interior of Victoria Crater."

###
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS