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Press Release Images: Spirit
08-Feb-2012
New Views Show Old NASA Mars Landers
Press Release
Spirit Lander and Bonneville Crater in Color
Spirit Lander and Bonneville Crater in Color

Near the lower left corner of this view is the three-petal lander platform that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit drove off in January 2004. The lander is still bright, but with a reddish color, probably due to accumulation of Martian dust.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this view on Jan. 29, 2012, providing the first image from orbit to show Spirit's lander platform in color. The view covers an area about 2,000 feet (about 600 meters) wide, dominated by Bonneveille Crater. North is up. A bright spot on the northern edge of Bonneville Crater is a remnant of Spirit's heat shield.

Spirit spent most of its six-year working life in a range of hills about two miles east of its landing site. An image of the lander platform taken by Spirit's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) after the rover had driven off is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05117. The bright heat shield remnant can be seen in a panorama the same camera took of Bonneville Crater, at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA05591.jpg.

This image is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_025815_1655. Other products from the same observation can be found at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_025815_1655.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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Phoenix Back Shell After Second Martian Winter
Phoenix Back Shell After Second Martian Winter

This image, taken Jan. 26, 2012, shows the back shell of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft after its second Martian arctic winter.

In August 2008, Phoenix completed its three-month mission studying Martian ice, soil and atmosphere. The lander worked for two additional months before reduced sunlight caused energy to become insufficient to keep the lander functioning. The solar-powered robot was not designed to survive through the dark and cold conditions of a Martian arctic winter. The back shell formed part of the encapulating aeroshell that protected the lander during its descent through Mars upper atmosphere.

The back shell is at the center of this image, which is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_025786_2485. Other products from the same observation can be found at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_025786_2485.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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Phoenix Lander After Second Martian Winter
Phoenix Lander After Second Martian Winter

This image, taken Jan. 26, 2012, shows NASA's no-longer-active Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft after its second Martian arctic winter. The lander has the same appearance as it did after its first winter, as seen in an image from May 2010, at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13158.

Both views are from monitoring frost patterns at the Phoenix landing site in far-northern Mars, using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

In August 2008, Phoenix completed its three-month mission studying Martian ice, soil and atmosphere. The lander worked for two additional months before reduced sunlight caused energy to become insufficient to keep the lander functioning. The solar-powered robot was not designed to survive through the dark and cold conditions of a Martian arctic winter.

The lander is at the center of this image, which is one product from HiRISE observation ESP_025786_2485. Other products from the same observation can be found at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_025786_2485.

A view of the Phoenix Lander taken by the lander's own Surface Stereo Imager is at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13804.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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