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The “Other” Rover on Mars: Forget Me Not!

Opportunity rover is also busy surveying Mars - gathering new Red Planet data. Credit: NASA/JPLCornell Univ.

With all the deserved attention being paid to that new Mars arrival – the Curiosity rover – don’t forget the on-going travels of the Opportunity robot.

Opportunity landed on Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004 and is still cranking out science.

Opportunity is now conducting a local area survey around the location where orbital observations show the presence of clay minerals at the inboard edge of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

The rover is driving around the area called Matijevic Hill.

Opportunity has performed four survey drives on Sols 3098, 3101, 3103 and 3104 (Oct. 10, 14, 16 and 17, 2012), totaling over 230 feet (70 meters). Each drive was preceded by targeted imagery and followed by 360-degree Navigation camera (Navcam) panoramas.

On Sol 3099 (Oct. 11, 2012), an atmospheric argon measurement was collected by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS).

The plan ahead is to conduct more survey drives around this location.

By Leonard David


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