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In-situ Exploration and Sample Return: Entry, Descent, and Landing

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Against a stark white background in a cleanroom at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Opportunity rover is undergoing final preparations before launch.  The rover itself is not visible in this image because it is stowed inside its tetrahedral lander.  Packed tightly to the lander and just peeking out of protective silver fabric are the durable airbags that cushioned the rover landings.

The Opportunity rover undergoing final preparations before launch. The durable airbags are packed tightly against the tetrahedral lander. Wrapped in their protective airbags, Spirit bounced 28 times and Opportunity bounced 31 times before coming to rest on the martian surface.

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