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Mars Rover Nears Crucial New Study Area

It's now been nearly three years since NASA's two rovers landed on Mars to begin what was originally intended as a 90-day mission. Both are still going strong. The rover called Opportunity is about to reach Victoria Crater.

Scientists are excited about exploring this crater, since satellite pictures indicate there is more than 100 feet of exposed bedrock.

By studying layers of the bedrock, researchers hope to determine what forces shaped the rocks, and maybe answer with certainty the question of whether liquid water once covered the Martian surface.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.