Airbag Tracks on Mars
The circular shapes seen on the martian surface in these images are "footprints" left by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's airbags during landing as the spacecraft gently rolled to a stop. Opportunity landed at approximately 9:05 p.m. PST on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2004, Earth-received time. The circular region of the flower-like feature on the right is about the size of a basketball. Scientists are studying the prints for more clues about the makeup of martian soil. The images were taken at Meridiani Planum, Mars, by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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