NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is working adeptly in some of the most challenging terrain of the vehicle’s 12 years on Mars, on a slope of about 30 degrees.
Researchers are using Opportunity this month to examine rocks that may have been chemically altered by water billions of years ago. The mission’s current targets of investigation are from ruddy-tinted swaths the researchers call “red zones,” in contrast to tan bedrock around these zones. The targets lie on “Knudsen Ridge,” atop the southern flank of “Marathon Valley,” which slices through the western rim of Endeavour Crater. (…)
“We’re hoping to take advantage of the steep topography that Mars provides us at Knudsen Ridge to get to a better example of the red zone material,” said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, principal investigator for the mission. [More at link]