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NASA Rover Inspects Next Rock at Endeavour
NASA Rover Inspects Next Rock at Endeavour
14 Sep 2011
(Source: NASA/JPL)

Chester Lake
An outcrop informally named "Chester Lake" is the second rock on the rim of Endeavour crater to be approached by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity for close inspection with instruments on the rover's robotic arm. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is using instruments on its robotic arm to inspect targets on a rock called "Chester Lake."

Chester Lake and Robotic Arm Shadow
The robotic arm of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity casts a shadow on a rock outcrop called "Chester Lake" in this image taken by the rover's front hazard-avoidance camera. The image was taken during the 2,710th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars (Sept. 8, 2011). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is the second rock the rover has examined with a microscopic imager and a spectrometer since reaching its long-term destination, the rim of vast Endeavour crater, in August. Unlike the first rock, which was a boulder tossed by excavation of a small crater on Endeavour's rim, Chester Lake is an outcrop of bedrock.

The rocks at Endeavour apparently come from an earlier period of Martian history than the rocks that Opportunity examined during its first seven-and-a-half years on Mars. More information about the ongoing exploration of Endeavour's rim is at: http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/22660.aspx.

Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit, completed their three-month prime missions on Mars in April 2004. Both rovers continued for years of bonus, extended missions. Both have made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010. NASA will launch the next-generation Mars rover, car-size Curiosity, this autumn for arrival at Mars' Gale crater in August 2012.

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. More information about the rovers is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/rovers and http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marsrovers.


Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

2011-289

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