Opportunity Knocks on Mars

NASA's rover explores bedrock that could be ancient Martian surface
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2007 10:47 AM CDT
Opportunity Knocks on Mars
This photo released by NASA, taken by the Mars rover Opportunity's front hazard-identification camera, shows a wide-angle view looking down into and across Victoria Crater. NASA's rover Opportunity has reached its first stop inside a huge Martian crater and was poised Thursday to carry out the first...   (Associated Press)

NASA’s Martian explorer Opportunity reached its first destination inside the cavernous Victoria Crater yesterday and prepared to get to work drilling into bright rock layers to collect data. The six-wheeled robot last month began the precarious decline into the crater, headed for a shiny piece of bedrock that scientists think is a relic of the ancient Martian surface, the AP reports.

Opportunity is now parked 40 feet below the rim at a 25-degree tilt—the steepest angle it has encountered since landing on the planet—while its sister rover Spirit explores a plateau on the other side of Mars for evidence of a volcano. The two robots, which landed on the planet three years ago, were originally slated for a three-month mission; this summer they survived a fierce dust storm that cut their power for weeks. (More Opportunity stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.