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Press Release Images: Opportunity
07-Dec-2011
NASA Mars Rover Finds Mineral Vein Deposited By Water
Press Release
'Homestake' Vein in Color
'Homestake' Vein in Color

This color view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Homestake is near the edge of the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

Exposures combined into this view were taken through Pancam filters admitting light with wavelengths centered at 601 nanometers (red), 535 nanometers (green) and 482 nanometers (blue). The view is presented in approximate true color. This "natural color" is the rover team's best estimate of what the scene would look like if humans were there and able to see it with their own eyes.

The exposures were taken during the 2,769th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's career on Mars (Nov. 7, 2011).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

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'Homestake' Vein, False Color
'Homestake' Vein, False Color

This false-color view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Homestake is near the edge of the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

Exposures combined into this view were taken through Pancam filters admitting light with wavelengths centered at 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). The view is presented in false color to make some differences between materials easier to see.

The exposures were taken during the 2,769th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's career on Mars (Nov. 7, 2011).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

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Close-up View of 'Homestake' Vein
Close-up View of 'Homestake' Vein

This close-up view of a mineral vein called "Homestake" comes from the microscopic imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Homestake is near the edge of the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

This view blends three exposures taken by the microscopic imager during the 2,765th and 2,766th Martian days, or sols, of Opportunity's career on Mars (Nov. 3 and 4, 2011).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/USGS

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Western Edge of 'Cape York,' with Bright Vein
Western Edge of 'Cape York,' with Bright Vein

The navigation camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this view of the western edge of "Cape York" during the 2,761st Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Oct. 30, 2011). Cape York is a segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. A bright vein, informally named "Homestake," is visible on the right side of the image. The vein is about as wide as a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Opportunity's Approach to 'Homestake'
Opportunity's Approach to 'Homestake'

This view from the front hazard-avoidance camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the rover's arm's shadow falling near a bright mineral vein informally named "Homestake." The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. Opportunity examined it in November 2011 and found it to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Homestake is near the edge of the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

Opportunity took this image during the 2,763rd Martian day, or sol, of the rover's career on Mars (Nov. 7, 2011).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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'Botany Bay' and 'Cape York' with Vertical Exaggeration
'Botany Bay' and 'Cape York' with Vertical Exaggeration

This graphic combines a perspective view of the "Botany Bay" and "Cape York" areas of the rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars, and an inset with mapping-spectrometer data. Major features are labeled. In the perspective view, the landscape's vertical dimension is exaggerated five-fold compared with horizontal dimensions. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examined targets in the Cape York area during the second half of 2011.

The perspective view was generated by producing an elevation map from a stereo pair of images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, then draping one of the HiRISE images over the elevation model. Other image products from the HiRISE observations used in generating this view are at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_018701_1775 and http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_018846_1775.

The inset presents data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In this CRISM observation, taken on March 29, 2011, and catalogued as FRT0001D86B, data were acquired using an oversampled gimbal motion in the spacecraft's along-track direction, producing an enhanced-resolution view in that direction. Data have been processed to 13 feet (4 meters) per pixel, compared with the instrument's usual 59 feet (18 meters) per pixel. Three different infrared wavelengths -- 2.52, 1.51 and 1.08 micrometers -- are presented as red, green and blue in the image.

Thermal inertia estimates from observations by the Thermal Emission Imaging System on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter indicate that Botany Bay is a region with extensive outcrop exposures.

The feature "Shoemaker Ridge" was given its informal name after one of the founding fathers of planetary geology, Eugene Shoemaker.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., led the effort to build the CRISM instrument and operates CRISM in coordination with an international team of researchers from universities, government and the private sector. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey projects for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built both orbiters.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/JHUAPL
 
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'Shoemaker Ridge' on Endeavour Rim (False Color)
'Shoemaker Ridge' on Endeavour Rim (False Color)

The feature informally named "Shoemaker Ridge" in the "Cape York" segment of the western rim of Endeavour Crater includes outcrops that are likely impact breccias. Impact breccias are a type of jumbled rock previously examined by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at the "Chester Lake" target on Cape York. The view looks northward toward the southern edge of Shoemaker Ridge.

This image combines exposures taken by Opportunity's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) through three different color filters during the 2,715th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Sept. 13, 2011). It is presented in false color to emphasize differences among materials in the rock and soil. The filters used are centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 412 nanometers (violet).

Most of Cape York is covered in densely packed basaltic sands with small embedded rock clasts. Outcrops are exposed particularly on the inboard, or southeast, side of the cape. The name Shoemaker Ridge pays tribute to one of the founding fathers of planetary geology, Eugene Shoemaker.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

 
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West Rim of Endeavour with Vertical Exaggeration
West Rim of Endeavour with Vertical Exaggeration

This view shows portions of the western rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars from a perspective looking toward the northwest. The image exaggerates the landscape's vertical dimension five-fold compared with horizontal dimensions. The scene covers about 4 miles (6 kilometers) in length. Major portions of the rim are labeled.

The view was generated by producing an elevation map from a stereo pair of images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, then draping one of the HiRISE images over the elevation model. Other image products from the HiRISE observations used in generating this view are at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_018701_1775 and http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_018846_1775. Elevation data were calculated by researchers at Ohio State University, Columbus.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity examined targets in the Cape York area during the second half of 2011.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/OSU
 
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Off-Earth Driving Champs
Off-Earth Driving Champs

The total distance driven on Mars by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover, 21.35 miles by early December 2011, is approaching the record total for off-Earth driving, held by the robotic Lunokhod 2 rover operated on Earth's moon by the Soviet Union in 1973. Lunokhod 2 drove 23 miles. NASA's astronaut-driven Apollo 17 Lunar Roving Vehicle drove 22.30 miles during the Apollo 17 mission to the moon in 1972.

The chart also indicates driving distances for two earlier Apollo lunar rovers, one earlier Lunokhod, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit (Opportunity's twin) and the first rover on Mars, NASA's Sojourner.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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Off-Earth Driving Champs (in Kilometers)
Off-Earth Driving Champs (in Kilometers)

The total distance driven on Mars by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover, 34.36 kilometers by early December 2011, is approaching the record total for off-Earth driving, held by the robotic Lunokhod 2 rover operated on Earth's moon by the Soviet Union in 1973. Lunokhod 2 drove 37 kilometers. NASA's astronaut-driven Apollo 17 Lunar Roving Vehicle drove 35.89 kilometers during the Apollo 17 mission to the moon in 1972.

The chart also indicates driving distances for two earlier Apollo lunar rovers, one earlier Lunokhod, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit (Opportunity's twin) and the first rover on Mars, NASA's Sojourner.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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