“Single figures” now..?

Oppy drove another 40m or so yesterday, meaning she has driven 130m from Cambridge Bay since completing her study of its rocky layers and outcrops. Let’s have a look at just where she is on Sol 2348…

If you look closely you’ll see a dark smear to the top of that picture, which is taken from Google Earth. What is it? Well, that’s Oppy’s next planned destination – “Santa Maria” crater…

It might be useful to put some figures to these pictures now, don’t you think? Just to clarify exactly where we are? (Before I start, please bear in mind these are only rough figures, made using Google Earth’s measuring stick… thing… so they may be out by some metres either way. This is just a Rough Guide, ok?)

So… if you look at the previous image you’ll see where Oppy is (“2348”). She now has another drive of around 100m to make before she reaches the next area of exposed bedrock. After that, she has to cross an area of bedrock some 1.5km across before she drives out onto an area which has been christened “The Parking Lot” by rover enthusiasts because it is so lovely and flat and driving-friendly. Without any big ripples or other things to delay or distract it, Oppy should make good time across this flat terrain, as she heads towards Santa Maria. To recap…

And how far away is Santa Maria? Let’s have a look…

About another 1.8km… so, even I, a maths dunce, can work out that that means we’re now around 3.3km from Santa Maria. That’s not far at all, is it? šŸ™‚

And after that? How far will it be to Cape York, the small hill where Oppy is expected to finally make ‘landfall’? Let’s see…

Another 6.3km… ish…

Hey! Look at those figures! I may be out by a little here and there, but adding them up (100m + 3.3km + 6.3km) gives us something like 9.5km… We’re now (probably!) less than 10km from Cape York! Single figures from landfall!!! šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

So, to celebrate this milestone (or should that be “kilometrestone”?) let’s take a look at Oppy’s latest view of the horizon…

Zooming in on those faraway hills, we can see…

That Crater (we need a name!!! Come on, MER team!!! Work with me here!) is really standing out now, isn’t it? There’s no sign of Cape York yet – it should be just there beneath That Crater, according to Google Earth, but nope, nothing yet… Maybe we’ll see it in the next few days, or maybe it’s in a dip in the terrain, meaning we won’t see it until we’re almost on top of it. As ever, we’ll just have to wait and see…!

More pictures soon!

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