The Case Of The Mysterious Rock, Solved By The Opportunity Rover And Mars Orbiter

It's been over ten years since the Opportunity rover landed on Mars and began its journey of scientific discovery. Amazingly, the little guy is still trucking along, gathering data for NASA. The Mars Orbiter recently had the chance to snap a photo of Opportunity using its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, in the hopes of solving a mystery involving... a rock.

Taken on 14 February, the image shows part of the Endeavour Crater, specifically a section of the western rim known as the Murray Ridge. Far from making the rover feel all sexy about itself, the photo was taken to determine where a rock near Opportunity had come from, as it was not visible a couple of days previously.

One theory was that an impact had moved the rock into position; this image proved this was not the case. In the end, vision from Opportunity itself showed that the rover had moved the rock with its wheel. Who knew rovers could be so mischievous?

NASA also put together a photo with annotations, with the red arrow pointing to the rover and blue arrows marking its tracks.

[JPL, via DVICE]

Photos: JPL

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