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Posts Tagged ‘Opportunity’

Mars Rover Opportunity Examines Clay Clues In Rock


Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech / Cornell / Arizona State Univ.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech / Cornell / Arizona State Univ.

NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is driving to a new study area after a dramatic finish to 20 months on “Cape York” with examination of a rock intensely altered by water.

The fractured rock, called “Esperance,” provides evidence about a wet ancient environment possibly favorable for life. The mission’s principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., said, “Esperance was so important, we committed several weeks to getting this one measurement of it, even though we knew the clock was ticking.”

The mission’s engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., had set this week as a deadline for starting a drive toward “Solander Point,” where the team plans to keep Opportunity working during its next Martian winter.

“What’s so special about Esperance is that there was enough water not only for reactions that produced clay minerals, but also enough to flush out ions set loose by those reactions, so that Opportunity can clearly see the alteration,” said Scott McLennan of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, a long-term planner for Opportunity’s science team.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-167

Mars Rover Opportunity Working At ‘Matijevic Hill’

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Rock fins up to about 1 foot (30 centimeters) tall. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity, well into its ninth year on Mars, will work for the next several weeks or months at a site with some of the mission’s most intriguing geological features.

The site, called “Matijevic Hill,” overlooks 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) Endeavour Crater. Opportunity has begun investigating the site’s concentration of small spherical objects reminiscent of, but different from, the iron-rich spheres nicknamed “blueberries” at the rover’s landing site nearly 22 driving miles ago (35 kilometers).

The small spheres at Matijevic Hill have different composition and internal structure. Opportunity’s science team is evaluating a range of possibilities for how they formed. The spheres are up to about an eighth of an inch (3 millimeters) in diameter.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-306

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery

September 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./ USGS/Modesto Junior College

NASA’s long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.

Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop Opportunity reached last week differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed “blueberries” the rover found at its landing site in early 2004 and at many other locations to date.

“This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission,” said Opportunity’s principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. “Kirkwood is chock full of a dense accumulation of these small spherical objects. Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different. We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mer/news/mer20120914.html

NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Martian Crater

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The initial work of NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity at its new location on Mars shows surface compositional differences from anything the robot has studied in its first 7.5 years of exploration.

Opportunity arrived three weeks ago at the rim of a 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater named Endeavour. The first rock it examined is flat-topped and about the size of a footstool. It was apparently excavated by an impact that dug a crater the size of a tennis court into the crater’s rim. The rock was informally named “Tisdale 2.”

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-274

NASA Announces Media Teleconference About Opportunity Rover

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. PDT to discuss progress of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Opportunity reached the Martian Endeavour crater earlier this month after years of driving.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/aug/HQ-M11-181_Rover_Telecon.html

New Rover Snapshots Capture Endeavour Crater Vistas

August 21, 2011 Leave a comment

'Ridout' Rock on Rim of Odyssey Crater

'Ridout' Rock on Rim of Odyssey Crater. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has captured new images of intriguing Martian terrain from a small crater near the rim of the large Endeavour crater. The rover arrived at the 13-mile-diameter (21-kilometer-diameter) Endeavour on Aug. 9, after a journey of almost three years.

 

 

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-259