NASAs Mars Rover to head for much bigger craterSeptember 23rd, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, September 23 (ANI): Plans are all set for NASAs Mars Rover Opportunity to head towards a crater more than 20 times larger than the current crater in which it was recently housed.
To reach the crater the rover team calls Endeavour, Opportunity would need to drive approximately 7 miles to the southeast, matching the total distance it has traveled since landing on Mars in early 2004.
We may not get there, but it is scientifically the right direction to go anyway, said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, principal investigator for the science instruments on Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit. This crater is staggeringly large compared to anything weve seen before, he added.
Getting there would yield a look inside a bowl 13.7 miles across. Scientists expect to see a much deeper stack of rock layers than those examined by Opportunity in Victoria Crater.
I would love to see that view from the rim. But even if we never get there, as we move southward we expect to be getting to younger and younger layers of rock on the surface, said Squyres.
Also, there are large craters to the south that we think are sources of cobbles that we want to examine out on the plain. Some of the cobbles are samples of layers deeper than Opportunity will ever see, and we expect to find more cobbles as we head toward the south, he added.
Opportunity will have to pick up the pace to get there.
The rover team estimates Opportunity may be able to travel about 110 yards each day it is driven toward the Endeavour crater. Even at that pace, the journey could take two years.
This is a bolder, more aggressive objective than we have had before, said John Callas, the project manager for both Mars rovers at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Its tremendously exciting. Its new science. Its the next great challenge for these robotic explorers, he added. (ANI)
- Mars Rover find traces of mineral gypsum - Dec 08, 2011
- NASA rover reaches rim of the big Martian crater ap - Aug 11, 2011
- NASAs Mars rover Opportunity catches first glimpse of distant destination - Mar 19, 2009
- NASA's Mars Opportunity rover getting travel tips from orbiting spacecraft - Dec 17, 2010
- Scientists get an "Opportunity" to see interior of Mars - Jan 22, 2010
- NASA Rover finds clue to Mars past - Jun 07, 2010
- Curiosity rover to test wheels, fire rock-shooting laser - Aug 18, 2012
- NASA's Spirit Mars Rover may not call home - Jul 31, 2010
- NASA to launch Mars rover in November - Nov 11, 2011
- Curiosity wiggles wheels ahead of first drive on Mars - Aug 22, 2012
- Mars was windy, wet and wild in ancient times - May 22, 2009
- NASA to launch new mission to Mars Saturday - Nov 24, 2011
- 'Missing carbon' may explain reduced density of Mars' atmosphere - Mar 09, 2011
- Victoria Crater unveils Mars' wild, windy and wet past - May 22, 2009
- NASA rover lands on Mars to discover if there was life (Lead) - Aug 06, 2012
Tags: callas, cobbles, crater washington, craters, endeavour, jet propulsion laboratory, landing on mars, mars rover opportunity, mars rovers, nasas, new science, pasadena california, principal investigator, right direction, robotic explorers, rock layers, rover spirit, science instruments, steve squyres of cornell university, victoria crater