2015 Annual Science Report
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting | JAN 2015 – DEC 2015
The MER Mission to Mars
NAI team member Andrew Knoll continued to work as part of the science team for the MER mission to Mars. Exploration continues along the clay-rich lip of Endeavor crater. Publications in 2015 include a synthesis of recent research in the Endeavour region and a analysis of Mn-bearing surface features exposed along Murray Ridge.
The MER rover Opportunity continues to explore the periphery of Endeavour crater. During the past year, Opportunity roved to a region of high clay content, as inferred from remote sensing. Enroute, a fortuitious scrape of a surface crust exposed a distinctive surface that, upon APXS analysis proved to contain an enrichment of oxidized Mn. This requries the presence of a strong oxidant in local pore waters, most liekly dixoygen (Arvidson et al., in press). Team member Knoll also particpated in a paper integrated remote sesensing and in situ analyses of Endeavour crater and its approaches (Arvidson et al., 2015)
PROJECT INVESTIGATORS:Andrew Knoll
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 1.1
Formation and evolution of habitable planets.