Tags: mars | rover | movement | winter

Mars Rover Makes First Move After Surviving Winter

Thursday, 10 May 2012 08:56 AM

The Mars rover Opportunity is on the go again.

marsopportunity.jpg
This 2011 image provided by NASA shows a view from the Mars Rover Opportunity from the Western rim of the Endeavour Crater. With a diameter of about 14 miles this crater is more than 25 times wider than any that Opportunity has previously approached during the rover's 90 months on Mars.
(AP Image)
After spending nearly five months conducting experiments in one spot, the NASA rover moved for the first time this week, rolling off the rock outcrop where it hunkered down for the Martian winter.

The mission team received confirmation late Tuesday that Opportunity successfully drove downhill. Engineers will check its power supply before directing it north to study dust and bedrock.

Opportunity will have to wait until there's more sunlight before it can head south where there's tantalizing evidence of clay deposits believed to have formed in a warm and wet environment early in Mars' history.

Since landing in 2004, Opportunity has surpassed expectations. Its twin Spirit lost contact in 2010 not long after it got stuck in a sand trap.

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