Opportunity: Slip, slidin’ — on Mars

1F511078302EFFCPEFP1211R0M1Sols 4313-14, March 12-13, 2016. Anyone who has driven steep slopes off-road will sympathize. The Hazcam view from Sol 4313 shows that Opportunity may have met its limits for traction on a 30°+ slope made of loose sand, gravel, and small rocks.

The Navcam view below is from Sol 4314 and shows the gouges and wheel trenches eroded by the rover’s spinning wheels as drivers at mission control have tried to get closer to the bedrock outcrop just upslope from Opportunity.

Mission scientists are now evaluating what scientific work should be done at this site if Opportunity can’t reach the outcrop. Click image below to enlarge.

Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, a location map. and atmospheric opacity, known as tau.


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