Status Report

NASA Spirit Rover Image: The Mystery Soil

By SpaceRef Editor
January 20, 2004
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This high-resolution image from the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the region containing the patch of soil scientists examined at Gusev Crater just after Spirit rolled off the Columbia Memorial Station. Scientists examined this patch on the 13th and 15th martian days, or sols, of Spirit’s journey. Using nearly all the science instruments located on the rover’s instrument deployment device or “arm,” scientists yielded some puzzling results including the detection of a mineral called olivine and the appearance that the soil is stronger and more cohesive than they expected. Like detectives searching for clues, the science team will continue to peruse the landscape for explanations of their findings.

Data taken from the camera’s red, green and blue filters were combined to create this approximate true color picture, acquired on the 12th martian day, or sol, of Spirit’s journey.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

High Resolution

SpaceRef staff editor.