Photo Gallery: The Best Views From Spirit's 6 Years of Mars Roving

By Aline Reynolds | February 19, 2010 10:23 am


January 4, 2004

After a 302-million-mile, 7-month journey from Earth, Spirit reaches Mars. Parachutes slow the landing craft as it falls through the atmosphere, and the 24 airbags that completely surround the craft cushion its landing. Spirit successfully lands in a Connecticut-sized basin on Mars named Gusev Crater.

Scientists believe the crater was formed by a massive asteroid or comet collision long ago. Spirit was given this landing site to investigate past and present environmental conditions there. Later photos reveal that a long, deep valley once provided water to Gusev via a hole in the crater’s edge.

Once Spirit has safely set down, the airbags deflate and the landing craft opens up to allow the rover to wheel out on to the surface of the Red Planet. In this image, captured by combining the camera’s green, blue and infrared filters, the rover looks back at the landing site before heading out to explore.

Spirit’s twin, the Mars rover Opportunity, lands on the opposite side of the Red Planet on January 25, 2004.

Image: NAS/JPL/Cornell

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Photo Gallery, Space, Technology
  • mike

    breath taking views of mars from this fine brave robot, my thoughts r with u spirit has u settle fown for the long cold winter
    good night

  • My Reference Frame

    What these guys, the people behind the robots, have been able to accomplish is just stunning to me.

  • Calv

    Absolutely stunning. the detail in the pictures, the clarity…. love it.

  • Oppurtunity

    Go Spirit! You’ll last through the winter. You’ve already done so much for science, and you’ll continue to advance our understanding of Mars. No little green men here, at least n0t yet.

  • Daryoosh Matsudaira

    That’s the Spirit!
    Wish we could have larger images to use on our desk top!

  • Dave

    I never thought the demise of a robot could be so sad….

  • Ron Bennett

    I have been following Spirit and Opportunity for the last 6 years and have compiled over 4,000 color images that I made out of the raw images received by NASA JPL at their website, it takes at least 3 raw RGB images to make one color image. Here is a place I stored over 1,400 color images at Google-Picasso site including panoramic views and the latest images of the meteorites found at Opportunities site, enjoy:

  • Jeff Price

    Well done Spirit Team, well done….

  • John Ferree

    It has been an absolutely remarkable achievement that, in my opinion, has not received near the recognition that is deserved. To place a vehicle on another planet, cruse all over the place, document the adventure in photos and transmit them back to humanity – one word – “unbelievable”!

  • Dixon Jeevananda

    Hope the day human race will land on Mars is not too far away.

  • http://aol wm. white

    How did they decontaminate the bungie cords from virus and bacteria?

  • Shelly

    Amazing these rovers could last so long.

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