After Dust Storms, Mars Rover Set to Enter Giant Crater

After surviving near fatal dust storms on Mars, NASA’s Opportunity rover is gearing up for its long-awaited trek inside an expansive crater on the red planet’s surface.
Opportunity could begin descending down into Mars’ giant Victoria Crater by Sept. 11 after spending two months hunkered down to wait out sunlight-blotting storms that nearly starved the solar-powered rover and its robotic twin, Spirit. The rover spent this week rolling ever closer to entry point into Victoria Crater.
“Opportunity might be ready for that first ‘toe dip’ into the crater as early as next week,” said John Callas, project manager for the Mars rover mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a Friday statement.