Corpus Christi Astronomical Society : Articles - Star Parties - Mars orbiter spies on past probes
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Corpus Christi, Texas, Astronomy, Telescope, Binocular, Observing, Stars, Planets, Moon, Earth, Universe, Big Bang, Star Party, Star Parties

Author : stargazer1053
Article ID : 9
Audience : Default
Version 1.00
Published Date: 2012/2/11 6:38:23
Reads : 275

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Color pictures taken from Martian orbit feature the landing spots for two of NASA's dearly departed probes on the Red Planet. Can you spot the Spirit rover's landing platform in the picture?


NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell

The panoramic camera on NASA's Spirit rover looks back at its landing platform just after rolling onto the Martian surface in 2004.

Bonneville Crater is easy to find: That was Spirit's first big destination after its landing in January 2004, and it took weeks for the six-wheeled robot to get there. But it's harder to make out the three-petal lander that was Spirit's home base for the airbag-cushioned landing.

If you haven't spotted it yet, the lander is the small bright object in the lower left corner of the picture above, captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's high-resolution camera on Jan. 29. The reddish tint suggests that Mars' red dust is accumulating on the platform.

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