NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover is tantalisingly close to the rim of the Endeavour crater – its target since 2008.
Given the rover moves at an average of about 60cm an hour, it has taken the vehicle a while to get there. Now though it is just 120 or so metres from its destination – the Cape York ridge on the west of Endeavour – as shown in this new image from NASA.
Yesterday rover driver Scott Maxwell noted via twitter, “The drive we uplink today will actually take us physically onto Cape York. So. Freaking. Excited.”
Back in 2008, Steve Squyres, PI for the rover’s science, said of the crater now being approached, “We may not get there, but it is scientifically the right direction to go anyway. I would love to see that view from the rim.”
Opportunity’s target has been named ‘Spirit Point’, in honour of the rover’s fallen comrade, the Spirit rover.