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Press Release Images: Spirit
19-Sep-2007
 
 
This black-and-white picture shows the bleak martian landscape stretching out to a faraway horizon.  Hills rise up softly at left and right, and small volcanic rocks are strewn about the surface.  Brighter surface material is directly in front of the rover Spirit, whose communications antenna and part of its solar panel are seen peeking out from the bottom of the image.
Winning Terrain at Home Plate

After waiting out a long, cold winter and a global dust storm, Spirit finally has enough power to explore Home Plate the way scientists have been longing to do since they first saw the layered terrain. Why all the excitement? If you were going to look for past water on Mars, there are three good ways: 1) Look for salts left behind from salty water that evaporated; 2) Look for rocks that show evidence of being originally laid down wet; and, 3) look for signs of volcanic explosions where water contacted hot, molten rock. At "Home Plate" on Mars, scientists have found all three. That's certainly a home run in the search for more clues to the history of water on Mars.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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