Rover Takes on Steepest Slope Ever Tried on Mars

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A shade and marks of NASA's Mars corsair Opportunity seem in this Mar 22, 2016, image, that has been rotated 13.5 degrees to adjust for a lean of a rover. The bank descends to a left into Marathon Valley. The building of Endeavour Crater is seen underneath a underside of a solar panel. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A shade and marks of NASA’s Mars corsair Opportunity seem in this Mar 22, 2016, image, that has been rotated 13.5 degrees to adjust for a lean of a rover. The bank descends to a left into “Marathon Valley.” The building of Endeavour Crater is seen underneath a underside of a solar panel.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s permanent Mars corsair Opportunity is pushing to an choice bank aim after a stand on a steepest slope ever tackled by any Mars rover. Opportunity could not utterly get within strech of a aim researchers hoped a corsair could hold progressing this month.

A new picture shows a perspective unaware a hollow subsequent and catches a rover’s possess shade and circle marks as Opportunity heads toward a subsequent target.

The rover’s lean strike 32 degrees on Mar 10 while Opportunity was creation a closest proceed to an dictated aim nearby a design of “Knudsen Ridge.”

This Mar 21, 2016, picture from a navigation camera on NASA's Mars corsair Opportunity shows streaks of dirt or silt on a vehicle's back solar row after a array of drives during that a corsair was forked steeply uphill. The lean and jostling of a drives influenced element on a corsair deck. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This Mar 21, 2016, picture from a navigation camera on NASA’s Mars corsair Opportunity shows streaks of dirt or silt on a vehicle’s back solar row after a array of drives during that a corsair was forked steeply uphill. The lean and jostling of a drives influenced element on a corsair deck.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Engineers expected that Opportunity’s 6 aluminum wheels would trip utterly a bit during a ascending push, so they ordered many some-more circle rotations than would customarily be indispensable to transport a dictated distance. Results from a expostulate were perceived in a subsequent relayed radio news from a rover: The wheels did spin adequate to have carried a corsair about 66 feet (20 meters) if there had been no slippage, though slippage was so good a car progressed usually about 3.5 inches (9 centimeters). This was a third try to strech a aim and came adult a few inches short.

The corsair group reached a tough preference to skip that aim and pierce on.

Both a dictated aim nearby a tip of a shallow and a stream aim area over west are on a bank combining a southern corner of “Marathon Valley,” that slices east-west opposite a lifted western edge of Endeavour Crater. Both targets are in areas where mineral-mapping observations by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have identified clay minerals, that form in a participation of water.

The Mar 10 expostulate surpassed Opportunity’s possess prior record for a steepest slope ever driven by any Mars rover. That record was achieved while Opportunity was coming “Burns Cliff” about 9 months after a mission’s Jan 2004 alighting on Mars.

In 8 drives between a steepest-ever expostulate and Mar 31, Opportunity initial corroborated downhill, northward, for about 27 feet (8.2 meters), afterwards gathering about 200 feet (about 60 meters) generally southwestward and uphill, toward a subsequent aim area.

Source: NASA