Endurance Crater

This cylindrical projection was constructed from a sequence of three images taken by the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The images were acquired on sol 94 (April 29, 2004) of Opportunity’s mission to Meridiani Planum. The camera acquired the images at approximately 12:40 local solar time, or around 9:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The images were taken from the rover’s new location about 20 meters (65 feet) away from the rim of Opportunity’s next target, "Endurance Crater."

JPL Endurance Crater
Within a stone’s throw of Endurance Crater.
Credit: JPL/NASA

 

The foreground highlights the now familiar ripples and dimples, common on the plains of Meridiani Planum. Some rock outcrop is seen emerging on the hill to the left, indicating that the rover is driving through the eroded remnants of the crater’s ejecta blanket and is getting close to its rim. This light-colored outcrop is probably similar to the rocks seen at "Fram Crater" and "Anatolia," and studied in detail at "Eagle Crater."

The foreground highlights the now familiar ripples and dimples, common on the plains of Meridiani Planum. Some rock outcrop is seen emerging on the hill to the left, indicating that the rover is driving through the eroded remnants of the crater’s ejecta blanket and is getting close to its rim. This light-colored outcrop is probably similar to the rocks seen at "Fram Crater" and "Anatolia," and studied in detail at "Eagle Crater."

Several rocks appear to be dotted with the same "blueberries," or iron-rich spherules. Detailed comparisons between soils exposed at the surface and those found at depth reveal that surface soils have higher levels of hematite while subsurface soils show fine particles derived from basalt. The rover may return to Fram for further analysis of its rocks and soils if time permits.

The Eagle Crater rocks are believed to have been deposited in an open body of water. The science team is intrigued by the darker rock on the far side of the crater wall. Just right of the center, on the far crater wall, rocks appear to form thick, massive layers, suggesting they may have been formed by a different geologic processes than the lighter rocks in the foreground. The greater thickness of layered rocks at Endurance Crater will provide the team with a longer record of geologic processes operating at Meridiani Planum.


MER flight planning chronicled in the diary of the principal investigator for the science packages, Dr. Steven Squyres: Parts 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 *12.

Related Web Pages

JPL Rovers
Spirit’s Sol images and slideshow
Opportunity image gallery and slideshow
Mars Berries Once Rich in Iron-Water
NASA’s RATs Go Roving on Mars

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Microscopic Imager
Gusev Crater
Pancam- Surveying the Martian Scene
Mössbauer spectrometer
Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer