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The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity finished observations of the prominent rock outcrop it has been studying during its 51 martian days, or sols, on Mars, and is currently on the hunt for new discoveries. This image from the rover's navigation camera atop its mast features Opportunity's lander - its temporary home for the six-month cruise to Mars. The rover's soil survey traverse plan involves arcing around its landing site, called the Challenger Memorial Station, and over the trench it made on sol 23. In this image, Opportunity is situated about 6.2 meters (about 20.3 feet) from the lander. Rover tracks zig-zag along the surface. Bounce marks and airbag retraction marks are visible around the lander. The calibration target or sundial, which both rover panoramic cameras use to verify the true colors and brightness of the red planet, is visible on the back end of the rover.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

Posted by at March 18, 2004 4:23 PM

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