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Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site at Gusev Crater
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Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site at Gusev Crater (PSP_001513_1655)

March 9, 2010
This HiRISE image shows the landing site of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The impact crater in the upper left-hand portion of the image is "Bonneville Crater," which was investigated by Spirit shortly after landing. In the lower right-hand portion of the image is "Husband Hill," a large hill that Spirit climbed and where it spent much of its now nearly three-year mission. (View the full subimage; 1663 x 1621, 8 MB)

The bright irregularly-shaped feature in area "A" of the image is Spirit's parachute, now lying on the Martian surface. Near the parachute is the cone-shaped "backshell" that helped protect Spirit's lander during its seven-month journey to Mars. The backshell appears relatively undamaged by its impact with the martian surface. Wrinkles and folds in the parachute fabric are clearly visible.

Area "B" of the image shows Spirit's lander. The crater in the upper left-hand portion of the image, just to the northwest of the lander, is the one that the Mars Exploration Rover team named "Sleepy Hollow."

Area "C" shows the damaged remnant of the heat shield that protected the vehicle during the high-speed entry through the Martian atmosphere. The heat shield impacted the surface after being separated from the vehicle during the final stages of the descent.

Area "D" of the image shows the current location of Spirit. Toward the top of the image is "Home Plate," a plateau of layered rocks that Spirit explored during the early part of its third year on Mars. Spirit itself is clearly seen just to the southeast of Home Plate. Also visible are the tracks made by the rover before it arrived at its current location.


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