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Mars rover reaches crater
Posted: Thu, Aug 11, 2011, 9:07 AM ET (1307 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity reached this week a large rater that may be the spacecraft's final destination. Opportunity arrived earlier this week at Spirit Point, a location on the rim of Endeavour Crater named after Opportunity's twin rover, Spirit, whose mission formally ended earlier this year. Opportunity spent about three traveling over 20 kilometers from Victoria Crater to reach Endeavour, a much larger crater 22 kilometers in diameter. Scientists hope Opportunity will be able to study much older rocks as it ventures into the crater, including those containing minerals that may have formed earlier in the planet's history when it was warmer and wetter. Opportunity has been on Mars since January 2004, far exceeding its original 90-day mission; the rover may spend the rest of its mission studying Endeavour.
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