NASA Mars Rover imaged by orbiting Mars spacecraft

January 15, 2011 | By | Add a Comment
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I stumbled across the below image on the HiRISE instrument website. Launched in August 2005, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. Information about HiRISE can be found here. It shows NASA’s Opportunity Rover on the surface of Mars next to the crater ‘Santa Maria’.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

(Text in italics from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter website)  The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a Dec. 31, 2010, (USA time) view of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the southwestern rim of a football-field-size crater called “Santa Maria.” Opportunity arrived at the western edge of Santa Maria crater in mid-December and will spend about two months investigating rocks there. That investigation will take Opportunity into the beginning of its eighth year on Mars. Opportunity landed in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 24, Pacific Time) for a mission originally planned to last for three months.

The ‘Santa Maria’ crater is about 90 meters in diameter.

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This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.