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Spirit on 'Husband Hill,' with 2004 Comparison
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Spirit on "Husband Hill," with 2004 Comparison

Two Earth years ago, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit touched down in Gusev Crater. The rover marked its first Mars-year (687 Earth days) anniversary in November 2005. On Nov. 2, 2005, shortly before Spirit's Martian anniversary, the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor acquired an image centered on the rover's location in the "Columbia Hills." The location of Spirit on that date is circled on the image on the right. On the left, for comparison, is an image from Jan. 10, 2004, when few dreamed that the Spirit would ever reach the hills from its landing site about three kilometers (two miles) away.

The newer image has a resolution of about 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) per pixel. North is up; illumination is from the left. The location is near 14.8 degrees south latitude, 184.6 degrees west longitude. Dr. Timothy J. Parker of the Mars Exploration Rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., confirmed the location of the rover in the 2005 image. The scale bar is 50 meters (164 feet).

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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