Opportunity Takes a Last Look at Rock Exposure Before Heading to 'Victoria Crater'(Microscopic Imager View)
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recently stopped to analyze an exposure of rock near "Beagle Crater," on a target nicknamed "Baltra." Nearly 100 sols, or Martian days, had passed since Opportunity had last analyzed one of the now-familiar rock exposures seen on the Plains of Meridiani. The rover ground a 3-millimeter-deep (0.12-inch-deep) hole in the rock using the rock abrasion tool on sol 893 (July 29, 2006) while stationed about 25 meters (82 feet) from the southwest rim of Beagle Crater.
Scientists wanted to analyze the outcrop one more time before driving the rover onto the ring of smooth material surrounding "Victoria Crater." Opportunity's analysis showed the rock to be very similar in its elemental composition to other exposures encountered during the rover's southward trek across Meridiani Planum.
Opportunity's microscopic imager acquired this view on sol 894 (July 30, 2006) while the target was fully shadowed. The view shows an area about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) across, just spanning the diameter of the hole ground into Baltra. The image resolution of 30 microns per pixel makes it possible to see features as small as 0.1 millimeter (0.004 inch).
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/USGS
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