'Pillinger Point' Overlooking Endeavour Crater on Mars (Stereo)
June 26, 2014
This stereo vista from the panoramic camera (Pancam) of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity catches "Pillinger Point," on the western rim of Endeavour Crater, in the foreground. The image combines views from the left eye and right eye of the Pancam to appear three-dimensional when seen through blue-red glasses with the red lens on the left. The eastern rim of the crater is on the distant horizon. Endeavour Crater is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. The vista spans from north-northwest, at the left, to south-southwest, at the right. It combines several Pancam exposures taken on the 3,663rd Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars (May 14, 2014). Opportunity's international science team chose Pillinger Point as the informal name for this ridge as a tribute to Colin Pillinger (1943-2014). Pillinger was the British principal investigator for the Beagle 2 project, which attempted to set a lander on Mars a few weeks before Opportunity's January 2004 landing. The site became a destination for Opportunity to examine because observations from orbit indicated the presence of a clay mineral named montmorillonite, which forms under wet conditions. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Topics: Space technology, Spaceflight, Spacecraft, Endeavour, Colin Pillinger, Beagle 2, British space programme, Beagle, Opportunity rover, Mars Exploration Rover, Astrobiology, European Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration