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

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

January 2004

Complete with a rock-identifying infrared sensor, Spirit is the first space-venturing robot to cut into stone, inspect the inside of a rock, and perform microscopic examinations of soil and rock on a planet other than Earth.

The rover uses its spectrometers and a rock abrasion tool to detect minerals and elements in rocks and soils. Soil deposits are especially good markers of recent environmental conditions. Planetary scientist Ray Arvidson, one of the rover researchers, describes the geology that Spirit investigates: “The caprock on the plains is volcanic basalt. It has been broken up by impact cratering, and then wind-blown materials have accumulated into a mantle of soil.” Spirit’s first target is Adirondack (pictured), a football-sized rock that scientists deem a “time capsule,” since probing it has brought to light past geological conditions of the Martian surface.

Image: NASA/JPL/Cornell

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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

  • http://www.myreferenceframe.com/ 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….

  • http://shineinnovations.com 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:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/shineinnovations

  • 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?

  • http://www.stackablewasherdryers.net/ Shelly

    Amazing these rovers could last so long.

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