NASA Mars Teams High Five

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The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter used its HiRISE imaging system to take an unprecedented photograph of the Mars rover Opportunity at the rim of Victoria Crater. An absolutely fabulous photograph, too. Isn't technology wonderful?

This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity near the rim of "Victoria Crater." Victoria is an impact crater about 800 meters (half a mile) in diameter at Meridiani Planum near the equator of Mars. Opportunity has been operating on Mars since January, 2004. Five days before this image was taken, Opportunity arrived at the rim of Victoria, after a drive of more than 9 kilometers (over 5 miles). It then drove to the position where it is seen in this image.

Shown in the image are "Duck Bay," the eroded segment of the crater rim where Opportunity first arrived at the crater; "Cabo Frio," a sharp promontory to the south of Duck Bay; and "Cape Verde," another promontory to the north. When viewed at the highest resolution, this image shows the rover itself, wheel tracks in the soil behind it, and the rover's shadow, including the shadow of the camera mast. After this image was taken, Opportunity moved to the very tip of Cape Verde to perform more imaging of the interior of the crater.

NASA also released a series of images taken by the Opportunity showing the dramatic layering of many of the terrain features in Victoria. Have you noticed that NASA is doing a much better job of public relations of late? I have. They are getting a lot more good press about the various programs. I think the new director is doing a pretty job on that front.

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