Circular Signs of the Rock Abrasion Tool
This image was taken by Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's front hazard-avoidance camera, providing a circular sign of the success of the rover's first grinding of a rock. The round, shallow hole seen in this image is on a rock dubbed "McKittrick," located in the "El Capitan" area of the larger outcrop near Opportunity's landing site.
Opportunity used its rock abrasion tool to grind off a patch of rock 45.5 millimeters (1.8 inches) in diameter during the 30th martian day, or sol, of its mission (Feb. 23, 2004). The grinding exposed fresh rock for close inspection by the rover's microscopic imager and two spectrometers located on its robotic arm. The Honeybee Robotics team, which designed and operates the rock abrasion tool, determined the depth of the cut at "McKittrick" to be 4.4 millimeters (0.17 inches) deep.
On sol 34 (Feb. 27, 2004), the rover is scheduled to grind into its second target
on the "El Capitan" area, a rock dubbed "Guadalupe" in the upper middle part of this image.
The rock abrasion tools on both Mars Exploration Rovers were supplied by Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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