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Press Release Images: Spirit
27-Dec-2004
 
Gusev Crater Geology as Seen from Above
Gusev Crater Geology as Seen from Above

As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to explore the "Columbia Hills" within Gusev Crater, scientists are planning to take a closer look for layered rocks in a steep valley straight ahead before directing the rover to turn south toward the summit of "Husband Hill." Two of the geologic formations the six-wheeled robotic geologist has discovered during 2004 are shown here. One is labeled "Columbia Hills material," representing bedrock of the higher slopes and peaks, and one is labeled "transition zone material," representing rocks that are gradational in character and composition between the hills to the east and the plains to the west. The map also shows Spirit's line of travel through the rover's 344th martian day, or sol (Dec. 21, 2004), beginning on the left edge at about the 182nd sol (July 7, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS/USGS/NMMNHS
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Potato-size Rock in Spirit's Wheel Well
Potato-size Rock in Spirit's Wheel Well

In recent days, controllers directed NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit to back up and turn to try to dislodge a potato-size rock from Spirit's right rear wheel. The rock did not present a threat -- it was sort of like having a pebble stuck in your shoe -- but the rover team was taking no chances that the rock might work its way deeper inside the rover's wheel well. The rock can be seen in the lower left side of this image, which Spirit took with its right rear hazard avoidance camera on martian day, or sol, 345 (Dec. 21, 2004). By the following day, the rock had rolled out onto the martian sand.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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