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Retracing a Rover's Steps out of Victoria Crater
May 03, 2010
Retracing a Rover's Steps out of Victoria Crater'

Image and Caption

This movie shows the wheel tracks left by the Opportunity rover as it climbed uphill out of Victoria crater.

The rover entered and exited the crater at the alcove called "Duck Bay" leaving two sets of wheel tracks on the steep hill, which is inclined at about 23 degrees. The rock cliff in the center of the movie behind the tracks is called "Cape Verde" and is about 6 meters tall (20 feet tall). That's about twice the height of a basketball hoop.

Victoria crater spans about 800 meters (half a mile or more than the length of eight football fields) in diameter. Its rock layers hold clues to the environment during the period when the rocks were formed and altered. Scientists were drawn to this spot because of this cross-section of exposed rock layers. The scalloped edge of the crater and other features indicate that the crater was once smaller than it is today, but wind erosion has widened it over time.

The images used to create this animation were taken on the three days Opportunity spent driving out of the crater on Aug. 24, 26 and 28, 2008 (Sols 1630, 1632 and 1634).

Opportunity explored Victoria for more than two years and is on a path to a much larger crater named Endeavour, which is about 25 times wider than Victoria.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
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