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Mars Exploration Rovers


Click for larger view-Gusev Crater The Spirit of exploration is part of our human nature.
Here are some images from the Spirit rover as it explores Gusev Crater. The larger view shows the landing area indicated in yellow. The crater, named after a Russian astronomer Matvei Guzev, is about 150 km (95 miles) in diameter and near the equater of Mars. There is a 900 km (550 mile) long channel entering the crater that may have been carved by water or some other geological process. If it was formed by water, then Gusev Crater may have held a lake and could contain sediments that might reveal if Mars had a warmer and wetter climate than it has now.
Image by NASA/JPL (Click on image for a detail view)

Rock field at Gusev Crater Gusev Crater (Click on image for a detail view)
This image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's panoramic camera shows a new slice of martian real estate southwest of the rover's landing site. The landscape shows little variation in local topography, though a narrow peak only seven to eight kilometers away is visible on the horizon. A circular depression, similar to the one dubbed Sleepy Hollow, can be seen in the foreground. Compared to the Viking and Pathfinder landing sites (PIA02405, PIA00563, PIA00393, PIA00568), the terrain at Gusev Crater, Spirit's landing site, is flat and speckled with a sparse array of rocks.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University

Click for larger image-Leaving the lander behind Leaving the lander behind (Click on image for a detail view)
This image mosaic taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's landing site, the Columbia Memorial Station, at Gusev Crater, Mars. This spectacular view may encapsulate Spirit's entire journey, from lander to its possible final destination toward the east hills. On its way, the rover will travel 250 meters (820 feet) northeast to a large crater approximately 200 meters (660 feet) across, the ridge of which can be seen to the left of this image. To the right are the east hills, about 3 kilometers (2 miles) away from the lander. The picture was taken on the 16th martian day, or sol, of the mission (Jan. 18/19, 2004). A portion of Spirit's solar panels appear in the foreground. Data from the panoramic camera's green, blue and infrared filters were combined to create this approximate true color image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Click for larger image-Testing for iron compounds Testing for Iron compounds (Click on image for a detail view)
This graph or spectrum taken by the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the variety of elements present in the soil at the rover's landing site. In agreement with past missions to Mars, iron and silicon make up the majority of the martian soil. Sulfur and chlorine were also observed as expected. Trace elements detected for the first time include zinc and nickel. These latter observations demonstrate the power of the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer to pick up the signatures of elements too faint to be seen before. The alpha particle X-ray spectrometer uses alpha particles and X-rays to measure the presence and abundance of all major rock-forming elements except hydrogen. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry

Click for larger image-Adirondack A rock called Adirondack (Click on image for a detail view)
This approximate true color image taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows "Adirondack," the rover's first target rock. Spirit traversed the sandy martian terrain at Gusev Crater to arrive in front of the football-sized rock on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2004, just three days after it successfully rolled off the lander. The rock was selected as Spirit's first target because its dust-free, flat surface is ideally suited for grinding. Clean surfaces also are better for examining a rock's top coating. Scientists named the angular rock after the Adirondack mountain range in New York. The word Adirondack is Native American and is interpreted by some to mean "They of the great rocks." Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Click for larger image-Spirit tests Adirondack Spirit tests Adirondack (Click on image for a detail view)
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took and returned this image on January 28, 2004, the first picture from Spirit since problems with communications began a week earlier. The image from the rover's front hazard identification camera shows the robotic arm extended to the rock called Adirondack. As it had been instructed a week earlier, the Moessbauer spectrometer, an instrument for identifying the minerals in rocks and soils, is still placed against the rock. Engineers are working to restore Spirit to working order so that the rover can resume the scientific exploration of its landing area. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Click for larger view-Apollo 1 Hills Apollo 1 Hills (Click on image for a detail view)
An image taken from Spirit's PanCam looking west depicts the nearby hills named after the astronauts (Roger Chaffee, Edward H. White II and Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom) of the Apollo 1. The crew of Apollo 1 perished in flash fire during a launch pad test of their Apollo spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center, Fl. on January 27, 1967. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

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More Rover Images
Mars Exploration Rover website
Mars Global Surveyor
Mars Odyssey
Viking, Pathfinder and other Mars missions
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