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Opportunity Studies Cobbles And Rock Exposures Around 'Victoria Crater'

A recent image of Victoria crater.
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (SPX) Jan 22, 2007
Opportunity continues to make progress in acquiring long-baseline stereo images of "Victoria Crater." To do this, the rover moves laterally from one point to another between taking images with the left and right eyes of the panoramic camera. The path separating the images is known as a baseline and increases the apparent visual depth of features in the terrain.

During the past week, Opportunity drove across "Cabo Anonimo," a promontory on the northwest edge of Victoria Crater. From there, Opportunity took images of a face of "Cape Desire," the next promontory clockwise around the crater rim, on the other side of the "Bay of Toil." Opportunity then proceeded around the Bay of Toil on the way to Cape Desire.

Opportunity was scheduled to take a picture of comet McNaught on the morning of the rover's 1,063rd sol, or Martian day, of Mars exploration (Jan. 20, 2007).

In addition to daily observations that included measuring atmospheric dust with the panoramic camera, searching for clouds with the navigation camera, surveying the sky and ground with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and imaging the sky with the panoramic camera, Opportunity completed the following activities:

Sol 1057 (Jan. 13, 2007): Opportunity measured atmospheric argon with the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer and surveyed surface targets known as "Pacific," "Pacifico," and "Straight" using the miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

Sol 1058: Opportunity drove across Cabo Anonimo to the rim overlooking the Bay of Toil.

Sol 1059: Opportunity completed standard remote sensing activities.

Sol 1060: Opportunity acquired the first half of the long-baseline stereo pair of the Bay of Toil using the panoramic camera. The rover then drove 2 meters (7 feet) to get into position to acquire the second half of the baseline stereo pair.

Sol 1061: Opportunity acquired the second half of the baseline stereo pair of panoramic camera images, then proceeded driving around the Bay of Toil.

Sol 1062 (Jan. 18, 2007): Opportunity acquired panoramic camera images of a rock outcrop known as "Guam," exposed on the plains above the rim of Victoria Crater. The camera also photographed cobbles "Gallego," "Vasco" and "Gomes" along the rim. Opportunity acquired miniature thermal emission spectrometer data on Gallego, the soil next to Gallego, and Vasco. Plans called for Opportunity to take snapshots of comet McNaught the next morning.

Odometry: As of sol 1061 (Jan. 17, 2007), Opportunity's total odometry was 9,840 meters (6.1 miles).

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Europe Faces Crunch Decision Over Mars Rover Mission
Paris (AFP) Jan 17, 2007
Members of the European Space Agency face a looming tough decision over whether to cut back a planned unmanned mission to Mars or stump up extra cash, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain warned on Wednesday. The ExoMars mission entails sending a 200-kilo (440-pound) wheeled rover, which will carry a drill enabling it delve up to two metres (seven feet) below the surface to see if the Red Planet has microbial life, or the potential for it.









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