Mars Rover “Opportunity” Get Out of Victoria Crater

NASA Opportunity rover has successfully climbed out of Victoria Crater, which he studied for almost a year. Now, he explores the area around the crater, studying rocks, hollowed-out is believed to be from the surface of the powerful meteorite impact. Opportunity descended into the crater of 800 meters wide in September 2007, after examining its edges during the previous year.

NASA Opportunity rover has successfully climbed out of Victoria Crater, which he studied for almost a year. Now, he explores the area around the crater, studying rocks, hollowed-out is believed to be from the surface of the powerful meteorite impact. Opportunity descended into the crater of 800 meters wide in September 2007, after examining its edges during the previous year.

The crater was deeper than any previously studied rover. Thus, the researchers examined rock layers in its walls, to see how the geological conditions that shaped each subsequent layer, changed over time.

But about a month ago there was a sudden change in voltage wiring of the left front wheel. A similar failure occurred in 2006 in the right front wheel rover twin Spirit on the day before the wheel stopped working.

Thus, the mission engineers prepared an escape route, deciding to take the rover in the same way that he came into the crater. Scientists were concerned that any failure in the aging rover could drive the rover crater in the trap.

Late Thursday rover crossed over the edge of the crater and went on the surrounding plain.

Now, Opportunity will examine scattered over the plain-stones stones the size of a fist. These stones seem to differ in color and composition of sandstone, formed the first few hundred meters of the surface of the investigated area.

According to the scientist Bruce Banerta sandstone has a tendency to crumble into dust, instead of forming such pieces of rock. In his view, these stones come from some other place. Some of them probably are meteorites, and some – the result of the rock outcrops on the surface after heavy meteorite impacts.

After studying the rocks, engineers, planning the rover’s next steps will have to decide which task should be solved as follows Opportunity.

If the rover designed to work for about three months, but managed to work on Mars for more than four years, will continue to properly perform the job, the team could send him into a huge crater, which is located 15 miles south of Victoria.

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