Opportunity shoots Awesome Views of Santa Maria Crater

The Long Journey to Santa Maria: This collage of two maps and a new close up panorama of Santa Maria crater (bottom right) shows the route traversed by the Opportunity Mars rover during her nearly 7 year long overland expedition across the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. Opportunity arrived at the rim of Santa Maria Crater on Dec. 16, 2010 on Sol 2451. The rover has been on a crater tour since landing inside Eagle crater on Jan. 3, 2004. During her more than 26 km long journey she made numerous scientific discoveries along the way at Endurance and Victoria Craters. The rovers next destination is Endeavour Crater – some 22 km wide – to investigate water bearing minerals at Cape York and Cape Tribulation which she will reach sometime in 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell, Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer

The Opportunity rover is now sending back a plethora of awesome views of Santa Maria Crater since just arriving at the western edge of the crater on Dec. 15 (Sol 2450). This intermediate stop on the rovers 19 km long journey from Victoria Crater to giant Endeavour Crater looks to be well worth the trip and affords another fine feather in the science teams cap. (…) Read the rest of Opportunity shoots Awesome Views of Santa Maria Crater (1,126 words)

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(C) Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | One comment | Add to del.icio.us Post

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