The folks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are sending the Opportunity rover into the Martian crater called Endurance to see what's cooking there.
Since Endurance's walls are sloped downward by about 25 degrees and appear to be composed of a variety of terrains, the team plans to take its time sending the rover to a target within the crater dubbed "Cappadocia," said Jim Erickson, deputy project manager for the rover mission. It should reach the target around Tuesday, he said.
Although there is the possibility that Opportunity will not be able to climb back out of Endurance Crater, [Firouz Naderi, manager of the Mars Exploration Program] said, "If you want to study history, there are worse places to get stuck than a library," which is virtually what the crater is to scientists.
Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Spirit's launch. The scientists and engineers at JPL said both rovers are in good health but continue to lose operation time. Naderi said the rovers have already "accomplished more than we had any right to expect when we launched."