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Press Release Images: Spirit
20-Feb-2004
Innovative Web Site Brings Mars Exploration to Desktops
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Spirit Digs a Trench
Spirit Digs a Trench

A view from the front hazard-avoidance camera of NASA's Spirit rover on its 47th martian day, or sol, shows a trench excavated by the rover's left front wheel within the "Laguna Hollow" area. The trench, dubbed "Road Cut," is 7 centimeters (3 inches) deep. The soil at this location is more cohesive than the material where Spirit's twin, Opportunity, dug its first trench at Meridiani Planum. Spirit made 11 back-and-forth passes to dig this trench, and still did not produce as deep a hole as Opportunity dug in 6 passes.

Scientists and engineers plan to begin up-close inspection of the soil in this trench on sol 48 by placing the microscopic imager on the floor and the walls before conducting readings with the rover's Moessbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometers on some of the same points.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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