Rover begins Mars crater exploration


  • Sarah Zielinski


A test image taken on 3 October by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was used to plan the next day's journey by the rover Opportunity as the rover began to explore its new target, Mars' Victoria Crater, NASA officials announced at a 6 October briefing. This image, and future ones, will be used in the planning of Opportunity's exploration of the crater, the largest and deepest yet to be explored on the planet.

MRO arrived at Mars in March, and in November it begins its prime mission, a search for evidence that water persisted on the planet for a long period of time. Beginning in late September, MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRise) camera began taking test images of the planet's surface, including one of Victoria Crater (Figure 1).