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Friday, June 4, 2004

Opportunity Meets Endurance

Endurance, from Opportunity.
Endurance, from Opportunity.
Credit: NASA/JPL
Even though Opportunity may not come out, the tantalizing hits in the crater proved too much for scientists. They are going to send Opportunity into Endurance to test exposed rocks and rock layers. "This is a crucial and careful decision for the Mars Exploration Rovers' extended mission," said Dr. Edward Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science. "Layered rock exposures inside Endurance Crater may add significantly to the story of a watery past environment that Opportunity has already begun telling us. The analysis just completed by the rover team shows likelihood that Opportunity will be able to drive to a diagnostic rock exposure, examine it, and then drive out of the crater. However, there's no guarantee of getting out again, so we also considered what science opportunities outside the crater would be forfeited if the rover spends its remaining operational life inside the crater." The rover can climb 25 degrees provided the soil is not too loose.

(More Info: Universe Today)

- posted by Jim @ 19:53 EST