After weeks of traversing the sandy dunes of the Meridiani Plains on Mars, Opportunity has finally made it to the edge of her latest observation target: the crater named “Santa Maria”! The image above has been assembled by photo retoucher “hortonheardawho” from raw image data received from Opportunity yesterday, and after many, many days of seeing only the outermost rocks in the distance we finally have a peek into the crater itself. I’m sure the rover team will have Opportunity stick around here for a while to have a look around, so stay tuned for more images to come!
Currently the only active craft on the surface of Mars, Opportunity has been steadily traveling toward her ultimate goal of Endeavour Crater. Santa Maria, a much smaller crater, is on the way to Endeavour so a brief stop here only makes sense. This is the largest crater the rover has come across in quite some time!
See more Santa Maria images and keep up with Opportunity on Stu Atkinson’s wonderful dedicated site, The Road to Endeavour.
Image: NASA / JPL. And thanks to horton!
ADDED: Check out a full panorama view into Santa Maria here!