August 12, 2009
NASA gets a new view of a Martian crater
NASA says its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned a dramatic oblique view of a Martian crater that a rover explored for two years.
The new view of Victoria Crater shows layers on steep crater walls, difficult to see from straight overhead, plus wheel tracks left by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity between September 2005 and August 2007, the space agency said.
The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera shot it at an angle comparable to looking at landscape from an airplane window. Some of the camera's earlier, less angled images of Victoria Crater aided the rover team in choosing safe routes for Opportunity and contributed to joint scientific studies.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been studying Mars since 2006, returning more data about the Red Planet than all other past and current missions to Mars combined. The orbiter is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate,
The new Victoria Crater image is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/multimedia/mro20091012a.html.