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Press Release Images: Spirit
17-Mar-2004
 
The Road to 'Bonneville'
The Road to 'Bonneville'

This false-color panoramic camera composite traverse map depicts the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's journey since landing at Gusev Crater, Mars. It was generated from three of the camera's different wavelength filters (750 nanometers, 530 nanometers and 480 nanometers). This map was created on the 65th martian day, or sol, of Spirit's mission, after Spirit had traveled 328 meters (1076 feet) from its lander to the rim of the crater dubbed "Bonneville." From this high point, Spirit was able to capture with its panoramic camera the entire rover traverse. The map points out major stops that Spirit made along the way, including features nicknamed "Adirondack;" "Stone Council;" "Laguna Hollow;" and "Humphrey." Also highlighted is the landscape feature informally named "Grissom Hill" and Spirit's landing site, the Columbia Memorial Station.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/OSU
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Spirit Digs In
Spirit Digs In

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this navigation camera image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004), after digging its wheel into the drift dubbed "Serpent." Creating the commands that would generate this "scar" was not an easy task for rover controllers. Essentially, they had to choreograph an intricate dance for Spirit, maneuvering it up the side of the dune, shimmying its left front wheel a number of times to create the scuff, and then reversing to attain proper positioning for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. Before the task was finished, Spirit moved forward to put the scuff within proper reach of the rover's arm.

This scar allows the rover's instruments to see below the drift surface, to determine the composition of the materials. Initial results indicate that the drift material is similar to the basaltic sands that have been seen throughout Spirit's journey to the large crater dubbed "Bonneville." The material does not seem to be the same as that inside the crater.

Scientists are now looking to answer two questions: Why is the dark sand in the crater not the same as the dark sand in the drift? And why are there two different dark soil-type deposits in such a small place?

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Almost Like Being at 'Bonneville'
Almost Like Being at 'Bonneville'

The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this 3-D navigation camera mosaic of the crater nicknamed "Bonneville" on the 67th martian day, or sol, of its mission. The rover's solar panels can be seen in the foreground, and just above the far crater rim, on the left side, is the rover's heatshield, which is visible as a tiny reflective speck.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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