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Press Release Images: Opportunity
23-Mar-2010
NASA Mars Rover Getting Smarter as it Gets Older
Press Release
First Image from a Mars Rover Choosing a Target
First Image from a Mars Rover Choosing a Target

This view results from the first observation of a target selected autonomously by a spacecraft on Mars. During the 2,172nd Martian day, or sol, of its mission on Mars (March 4, 2010), NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used newly developed and uploaded software to choose a target from a wider-angle image and point its panoramic camera (Pancam) to observe the chosen target through 13 different filters. The imaging was part of a checkout of the new software, named Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS. Images taken through three of the filters are combined into this approximately true-color view of the rock, which is about the size of a football.

The component images are one-quarter subframe field of view, taken with the left camera of the stereo Pancam through filters admitting wavelengths of 600 nanometers, 530 nanometers and 480 nanometers.

The rock in the target is close to a young crater called "Concepcion" and might have been thrown outward by the impact that excavated the crater. The wider-angle image that Opportunity analyzed to select this target was taken by the rover's navigation camera and is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12975.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
Browse Image | Large (388 kB)
First Image from a Mars Rover Choosing a Target, False Color
First Image from a Mars Rover Choosing a Target, False Color

This view results from the first observation of a target selected autonomously by a spacecraft on Mars. During the 2,172nd Martian day, or sol, of its mission on Mars (March 4, 2010), NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used newly developed and uploaded software to choose a target from a wider-angle image and point its panoramic camera (Pancam) to observe the chosen target through 13 different filters. The imaging was part of a checkout of the new software, named Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS. Images taken through three of the filters are combined into this false-color view of the rock, which is about the size of a football.

The component images are one-quarter subframe field of view, taken with the left camera of the stereo Pancam through filters admitting wavelengths of 750 nanometers, 530 nanometers and 430 nanometers. The false color makes some differences between materials easier to see.

The rock in the target is close to a young crater called "Concepcion" and might have been thrown outward by the impact that excavated the crater. The wider-angle image that Opportunity analyzed to select this target was taken by the rover's navigation camera and is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12974.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech//Cornell University
Browse Image | Large (520 kB)
Image Analyzed by Mars Rover for Selection of Target
Image Analyzed by Mars Rover for Selection of Target

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this image in preparation for the first autonomous selection of an observation target by a spacecraft on Mars.

Opportunity used its navigation camera to take this image after a drive during the 2,172nd Martian day, or sol, of its mission on Mars (March 4, 2010). Using newly developed and uploaded software named Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS, the rover analyzed the image to identify the feature that best matched criteria given for selecting a target. The top target that Opportunity selected with AEGIS is shown by the yellow marker. AEGIS was directed to look for rocks that were larger and darker in color. The rover then used the software to take more detailed observations of the selected target using its panoramic camera (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12973).

The more-than-50 rocks in this image are near a young crater called "Concepcion" and might have been thrown outward by the impact that excavated the crater.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech//Cornell University
Browse Image | Medium Image (64 kB) | Large (580 kB)

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