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Press Release Images: Spirit
07-Dec-2004
 
Digital Elevation Map of Spirit's Trek
Digital Elevation Map of Spirit's Trek

This digital elevation map, produced from satellite data overlain on an image taken by the Mars Orbital Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, shows changes in elevation along the trek of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit as of the rover's 328th martian day, or sol (Dec. 4, 2004). To that point, Spirit had driven a total of 3.89 kilometers (2.42 miles).

The blue area represents the basaltic plains on the floor of Gusev Crater, about 20 meters (66 feet) below the rover's present location. Spirit crossed those plains for several months after landing to the west, off the left edge of this image. The greenish-blue area is the "West Spur" of the "Columbia Hills," which Spirit reached on sol 156 (June 11, 2004). Since then, Spirit has been gradually ascending the slopes of the "West Spur" in an east-northeasterly direction. Southeast of the rover's current position is a brighter green area that represents an abrupt increase in slope where the "West Spur" meets the steeper flanks of the "Columbia Hills." The yellow and red areas represent the highest slopes and peaks. A steep valley east of the rover's location appears, from orbiter images, to have layered outcrops. Scientists are directing the rover to a ridge overlooking the valley to get a better look at what lies ahead.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/USGS/NMMNHS
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Spirit's Route in Black and White
Spirit's Route in Black and White

The Mars Orbital Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft took this image of the topography traversed by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in months prior to the rover's 318th martian day (Dec. 4, 2004). The yellow line traces the rover's path up to and across the "West Spur" of the "Columbia Hills."

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/NMMNHS
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Spirit's Amazing Trek Continues
Spirit's Amazing Trek Continues

This view from where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit stood on the rover's 149th martian day, or sol (June 3, 2004), shows terrain the rover has crossed since then. The yellow line traces the path Spirit has taken since arriving at the "Columbia Hills." Labels show the informal names of rocks the rover has studied along the way. Spirit is currently headed east, traversing the flanks of the hills en route to an overlook above a steep valley that is out of view from this perspective. Scientists hope to find more layered rocks that will tell a story of ancient water on Mars.

Spirit has traveled 498 meters (more than one-quarter of a mile) and ascended 20 meters (66 feet) above the plains since arriving at the "Columbia Hills" on sol 156 (June 11, 2004). It covered much of that distance driving on only five of its six wheels.

The images used to make this approximately true-color mosaic were taken with Spirit's panoramic camera from about 300 meters (984 feet) away from the base of the hills, using filters centered at wavelengths of 600, 530 and 480 nanometers.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/NMMNHS
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