The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) "Opportunity" has explored chemically-enriched sedimentary outcrops at Meridiani Planum, Mars. In its first year, three different crater sites - Eagle, Fram and Endurance - have been explored. Nineteen high-interest outcrop rocks were investigated by first grinding a hole to reach the interior (using the Rock Abrasion Tool, RAT), and then conducting APXS (alpha particle x-ray spectrometry) analysis, MB (M ssbauer) analysis, and close up imaging (MI, microscopic imager). Sixteen elements and four Fe-bearing minerals were assayed to good accuracy in each sample, producing 380 compositional data points. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini- TES) obtained spectra on outcrop materials which provide direct indication of several mineral classes. Preliminary reports on Eagle crater and three RAT samples have been published. Chemical trends and a derived mineralogical model for all RAT d outcrop samples to date has been developed.
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 3; LPI-Contrib-1234-Pt-3