NASA's Mars Rover "Opportunity" has reached the Endeavour crater, granting scientists fresh insights into the nature of the Red Planet allowing them to study rocks never previously seen.
The Rover's journey has currently lasted nearly three years. After climbing out of its previous research site -- the Victoria crater -- its arrival at "Spirit Point" was confirmed on Wednesday 9 Aug. by NASA scientists.
The Endeavour crater is much larger than the Victoria, believed to be roughly 14 miles in diameter. The crater has been one of NASA's top-goals after its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected clay minerals, a discovery that lent credence to the theory that at some point in its history Mars had running water on its surface.
The Endeavour crater garnered further attention when the Opportunity's twin rover "Spirit" stopped transmitting information upon reaching Spirit point in March 2010.
The search for evidence of water on Mars has long been one of NASA's primary goals, with its discovery being viewed as the first step in establishing whether the red planet ever did, or could, sustain life.
"Opportunity's findings and data from the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory will play a key role in making possible future human missions to Mars and other places where humans have not yet been," commented NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
The Opportunity's arrival at the Endeavour crater adds to previous discoveries indicating the existence of water on Mars. Most recently NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered evidence that warm, salty water may flow across Mars during its warmest months.
The Orbiter made the discovery after capturing video footage of "finger-like" formations and features running down a number of Martian peaks.
Video footage of the Opportunity's journey is expected later in the year.