At some point yesterday, Opportunity drove off the ramp of Botany Bay and drove up onto Spirit Point, finally making landfall at Cape York after driving 21km from Victoria Crater, which she left three long, long years ago.
She’s there. She made it. She reached Endeavour Crater.
Make no mistake, this is an absolutely stunning achievement, and everyone involved in the MER mission, in even the smallest way, should be proud of themselves, the team, and the rover herself, today. This will be a whole new adventure now. Oppy’s mission will, for the rest of history, whatever happens from to her now on, be separated into “Before Endeavour” and “After Endeavour”.
Oppy drove up – of course, “up” is a relative term, because Cape York is more like a long, flat plate than a hill, or anything like that! – onto Spirit Point and headed straight for Odyssey Crater, which we’ve known for years now would be on her Hit List because of the large number of big rocks scattered around it. We knew the crater would look pretty impressive up close…
…but we had no idea, no idea at all, it would look like this…
Just… look… at… THAT…!!
This is a geological wonderland, it really is! Those rocks are going to keep Oppy busy for quite a while, I think. I wonder what secrets are hidden on, beneath and inside them? I can’t wait to find out!
If you look at this 3D pic of the largest rock, directly opposite Oppy, you get a hint of how fascinating this place is, and how much there is to learn here…
That was just a taster. Here’s the whole crater in 3D…!
But wait… as fascinating as Odyssey is, something else has caught the eyes of rover enthusiasts over on the UMSF forum… not far from Oppy there appears to be a ridge or seam of something jutting up out of the ground…
And here’s a view in 3D…
What the **** is that?!?! Some kind of hard mineral? It’s something shiny, something new – which is exactly what Oppy was sent to Mars to look for.
One day on Cape York, and already we’ve a new mystery to solve. Fantastic!
You know, I was going to write a long post when Oppy reached Endeavour. I had it all planned. I was going to wax lyrical about the journey, the adventure, how important it is, how much it means to me, but I just can’t find the words tonight. All I want to do is look at these wonderful images… and wait for the next ones.
She made it.
So, finally for this time, let’s take a look at what Odyssey Crater MIGHT look like when the colour images start coming back. This is, I’ll stress again, just my own portrait, my own colourisation, I’m not claiming for a *moment* that this is “realistic” or “accurate”, so please, don’t take it too seriously, ok? 🙂