Status Report

NASA Opportunity Mars Rover Image: Color View of a ‘Rat’ Hole Trail Inside ‘Endurance’

By SpaceRef Editor
July 28, 2004
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This view from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s panoramic camera is an approximately true color rendering of the first seven holes that the rover’s rock abrasion tool dug on the inner slope of “Endurance Crater.” The rover was about 12 meters (about 39 feet) down into the crater when it acquired the images combined into this mosaic. The view is looking back toward the rim of the crater, with the rover’s tracks visible. The tailings around the holes drilled by the rock abrasion tool, or “Rat,” show evidence for fine-grained red hematite similar to what was observed months earlier in “Eagle Crater” outcrop holes.

Starting from the uppermost pictured (closest to the crater rim) to the lowest, the rock abrasion tool hole targets are called “Tennessee,” “Cobblehill,” “Virginia,” “London,” “Grindstone,” “Kettlestone,” and “Drammensfjorden.” Opportunity drilled these holes on sols 138 (June 13, 2004), 143 (June 18), 145 (June 20), 148 (June 23), 151 (June 26), 153 (June 28) and 161 (July 7), respectively. Each hole is 4.5 centimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter.

This image was generated using the panoramic camera’s 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters. It was taken on sol 173 (July 19).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Click on image to enlarge

SpaceRef staff editor.