Opportunity Rover to Prowl its Entry Debris for Mars Secrets

The Opportunity Mars rover has turned into a junkyard dog, prowling ever closer to a hunk of space litter at Meridiani Planum — a discarded heat shield. During its January 25, 2004 plunge toward the red planet, the Opportunity rover was encapsulated in a protective aeroshell comprised of two key parts: a heat shield and a backshell that contained essential landing gear.