Mars Rover Opportunity's View of 'Orion Crater' (Enhanced Color)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology2017-06-16


Washington, DC, United States

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover passed near this small, relatively fresh crater in April 2017, during the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. The rover team chose to call it "Orion Crater," after the Apollo 16 lunar module. The rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) recorded this view, presented in enhanced color to make differences in surface materials more easily visible.

The crater's diameter is about 90 feet (27 meters). From the small amount of erosion or filling that Orion Crater has experienced, its age is estimated at no more than 10 million years. It lies on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. For comparison, Endeavor is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter and more than 3.6 billion years old.

This view combines multiple images taken through three different Pancam filters. The selected filters admit light centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

The component images were taken on April 26, 2017, during the 4,712th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars.

Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke flew in the Orion lunar module to and from the first human landing in the lunar highlands while Ken Mattingly orbited the moon in the command module, Casper. On the moon, Young and Duke investigated Plum Crater, which is approximately the same size as Mars' Orion Crater.



  • Title: Mars Rover Opportunity's View of 'Orion Crater' (Enhanced Color)
  • Creator: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
  • Date Created: 2017-06-16
  • Rights: JPL
  • Album: kboggs

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