Opportunity Studies Bait in Shark's Cage
January 4, 2005
In its 49th sol on Mars, NASA's Opportunity had nearly concluded its scientific examination of the extreme southwestern end of the outcrop in Meridiani Planum. In the â€œShark's Cageâ€ area of the neighborhood called â€œShoemaker's Patio,â€ featured in this image from the front hazard avoidance camera, Opportunity deployed its arm to study the features called â€œShark's Tooth,â€ â€œShark Pellets,â€ and â€œLamination.â€ â€œShark's Toothâ€ is a piece of the unusual red rind that appears to fill cracks in the outcrop. This rind may be some kind of chemical alteration of the rocks. â€œShark Pelletsâ€ is an area of soil that was under investigation as part of the crater soil survey. â€œLaminationâ€ is a target with very thin layers that resemble uniform pages in a book, an indication of how the sediments were deposited. A final experiment in this area will be attempted on sol 51. Opportunity's front left wheel will â€œscuffâ€ the rock called â€œCarousel.â€ â€œScuffingâ€ involves scraping the rock with one wheel while holding all the others still. This experiment essentially turns the rover wheels into tools, to try and determine the hardness of the target rock.
Topics: Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle, Mars, Space exploration, Opportunity rover, Meridiani Planum, Mars Exploration Rover, A