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Clues to Mars Buried Past
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Clues to Mars' Buried Past

May 8, 2004
This approximate true-color image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the impact crater known as Endurance. Scientists are eager to explore Endurance for clues to the red planet's history. The crater's exposed walls provide a window to what lies beneath the surface of Mars and thus what geologic processes occurred there in the past. While recent studies of the smaller crater nicknamed Eagle revealed an evaporating body of salty water, that crater was not deep enough to indicate what came before the water. Rover planners are currently developing strategies to overcome this obstacle. Presently, Opportunity is perched 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) away from the crater's edge. Endurance is roughly 130 meters (430 feet) across.


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