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Press Release Images: Spirit
18-Mar-2004
Mineral in Mars 'Berries' Adds to Water Story
Full Press Release
To 'Bonneville' and Beyond
To 'Bonneville' and Beyond

The route of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, from its landing site to its location on sol 72 (March 16, 2004) near the rim of the large crater dubbed "Bonneville" is pictured here on this traverse map. The map consists of data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter and NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The varying terrains surrounding Bonneville -- crater floor, crater wall, crater rim, crater ejecta (material ejected from the crater) and intercrater plains -- are highlighted in different colors.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems/ASU/New Mexico Museum of Natural History
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'Serpent' Untouched
'Serpent' Untouched

A drift dubbed "Serpent" stretches in front of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in this picture from the left eye of Spirit's front hazard-avoidance camera. Spirit took the image during its 71st martian day, or sol, on Mars (March 15, 2004) while exploring the rim of the crater nicknamed "Bonneville." The following sol, the rover used its wheels to dig into the drift and expose material under the surface.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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The Right Scuff
The Right Scuff

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004) with the left eye of its front hazard-identification camera 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 its 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.

Two questions raised by these results are: 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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Ma'adim Vallis Revealed
Ma'adim Vallis Revealed

This top image is a panorama mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera on sol 68 of the rover's mission (March 12, 2004). The southern end of the hills nicknamed the "Columbia Hills" can be seen on the left near the horizon. The middle image shows the same view, but the sky has been further processed to show contrast, bringing out a feature that dips along the rim of Gusev Crater. The feature, toward the right of the image, is a valley called Ma'adim Vallis that appears to go through the crater. In the bottom version of the image, the foreground is masked for better viewing of the Gusev Crater rim, which at its closest point is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) away from Spirit.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Ma'adim Vallis From the Top
Ma'adim Vallis From the Top

This is a still from an animation showing the geography of Ma'adim Vallis, a valley or channel that enters Gusev Crater. The view of the crater is from the northwest, which is not the direction from which Spirit approached the crater as it landed.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Spirit's Destination (panorama)
Spirit's Destination (panorama)

This panoramic image mosaic from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera, shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the "Columbia Hills," on the right. The rover's heatshield can be seen on the left as a tiny bright dot in the distance, just under the horizon. Dark drift material can be seen in the image center. The rover is currently positioned outside the view of this image, on the right. This image was taken on sols 68 and 69 of Spirit's mission (March 12 and 13, 2004) from the location the rover first reached on the western rim of the crater. The image is in approximate true color, based on a scaling of data from the red, green and blue (750 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 480 nanometers) filters.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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'Serpent' Scuff
'Serpent' Scuff

This mosaic image from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera shows the trench or "scuff" mark in the Gusev Crater location dubbed "Serpent." The trench is approximately 30-35 centimeters (12-14 inches) across and 40-45 centimeters (16-18 inches) long from top to bottom. Work using the rover's instrument deployment device, or"arm," was completed on the undisturbed surface of the drift as well as within the interior of the trench. This image is in approximate true color, based on a scaling of data from the red, green and blue (750 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 430 nanometers) filters.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Spirit's Destination
Spirit's Destination

This image, cropped from a larger panoramic image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera, shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the "Columbia Hills." The rover is currently positioned outside the view of this image, on the right. This image was taken on sols 68 and 69 of Spirit's mission (March 12 and 13, 2004) from the location the rover first reached on the western rim of the crater. The image is in approximate true color, based on a scaling of data from the red, green and blue (750 nanometers, 530 nanometers, and 480 nanometers) filters.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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