THEMIS: The Martian, Part 4: Schiaparelli Crater rim

The Martian, part 4 Schiaparelli Crater rim (THEMIS_IOTD_20151015)THEMIS Image of the Day, October 15, 2015. All this week, the THEMIS Image of the Day is following on the real Mars the path taken by fictional astronaut Mark Watney, stranded on the Red Planet in the book and movie, The Martian.

Today’s image shows part of the northwest rim of Schiaparelli Crater. Schiaparelli is a large, ancient impact scar, some 480 kilometers (280 miles) wide. It has been much modified by billions of years of erosion and deposition by wind and probably water.

For astronaut Mark Watney, the descent from the rim onto the crater floor looks smooth and gradual. But it almost wrecks his rover vehicle when he drives into soft sediments. His goal? An automated rescue rocket, intended for the next Mars expedition, which stands about 250 kilometers (150 miles) away on the southern part of Schiaparelli’s floor.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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