2011

New Video Documents Three-Year Trek by Mars Rover

A new video compiles 309 images taken by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, providing an historic record of a three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.

While Opportunity was traveling from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, between September 2008 and August 2011, the rover team took an end-of-drive image on each Martian day that included a drive. The video featuring the end-of-drive images shows the rim of Endeavour becoming visible on the horizon partway through the journey and growing larger as Opportunity neared that goal. The drive included detours, as Opportunity went around large expanses of treacherous terrain along the way.

The rover team also produced a soundtrack for the video, using each drive day's data from Opportunity's accelerometers. The low-frequency data has been sped up 1,000 times to yield audible frequencies. The sound represents the vibrations of the rover while it was moving on the surface of Mars. When the sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock, and when it is softer, the rover was moving on sand.

Click here to watch the video.

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