Looking Back at 'Purgatory Dune'
The wheels of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity dug more than 10 centimeters (4 inches) deep into the soft, sandy material of a wind-shaped ripple in Mars' Meridiani Planum region during the rover's 446th martian day, or sol (April 26, 2005). Getting the rover out of the ripple, dubbed "Purgatory Dune," required more than five weeks of planning, testing, and carefully monitored driving. Opportunity used its navigation camera to capture this look back at the ripple during sol 491 (June 11, 2005), a week after the rover drove safely onto firmer ground. The ripple that became a sand trap is about one-third meter (one foot) tall and 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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