July 18, 2013
Image Of The Mars Rover 10 Years After Launch
NASA's Jet Propulsion LaboratoryHiRISE) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter catches Opportunity crossing relatively level ground called "Botany Bay" on its way to a rise called "Solander Point."
"The Opportunity team particularly appreciates the color image of Solander Point because it provides substantially more information on the terrains and traverse that Opportunity will be conducting over the next phase of our exploration of the rim of Endeavour crater," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Scientist Matt Golombek of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Opportunity was launched from Florida's Space Coast on July 7, 2003, PDT and EDT (July 8, Universal Time). The rover finished nearly two years of investigating an area called "Cape York" two months ago. Both Cape York and Solander Point are raised portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, which is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.
HiRISE first imaged Opportunity in 2006, the year Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began orbiting Mars with six science instruments. The rover had then just reached the edge of Victoria Crater, which is half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. Opportunity spent two years investigating Victoria Crater before heading toward much-larger Endeavour Crater.
HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and Mars Exploration Rover Project are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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