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The Road to Endeavour

At Year’s End…

31 Dec 2017, 09:00 UTC
At Year’s End…
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

So, here we are, the last day of 2017… and Opportunity is still with us, still exploring, still roving on Mars. In January it will be 14 years since she landed on the Red Planet… 14 years… amazing… For a rover that we hoped would survive for 90 days on Mars, she’s done pretty well…
Opportunity ends 2017 in good shape, slowly but carefully surveying Perseverance Valley in the inner slope of Endeavour Crater. As I thought might be the case, the Valley has turned out to be more of a series of quite visually-unexciting shallow, meandering channels rather than steep-walled gullies. But that’s ok. The appeal of the Valley is scientific, not aesthetic; Opportunity is there for the science, not the sight-seeing. Perseverance Valley is full of questions – how old is it? What sculpted it? What different kinds of rocks does it contain? Opportunity is answering those questions by carefully conducting a survey of the area, as any human geologist would. So, although the landscape isn’t the most thrilling she has visited and trundled through, it’s a very important location, and in the months and years ahead the Valley will come to life via scientific papers, talks ...

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