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Two Years on Mars - Jan. 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers are healthy and active after working eight times as long as the three-month missions originally planned. Spirit landed on Jan. 3, 2004. Opportunity landed on the opposite side of Mars three weeks later, on Jan. 24., 2004. JPL designed, built and manages the rovers.

   
Chris Voorhees

Chris Voorhees

The first picture we took on the surface is a picture using our rear hazard avoidance camera, and it looks back at the lander and you see about a meter's worth of track and the lander in the distance and that picture is still my favorite. The most interesting thing about the vehicle when it takes a self-portrait is that I remember what it looked like when it was sitting in the high bay. To see the bolts and to see all the little pieces we put together, to see all these on the surface of another planet is something that's hard to describe, it's something that's hard to put into words what that means because that was a product of an enormous number of peoples' combined contribution.
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Self-portrait of Spirit rover

Self-Portrait
The most recent self-portrait of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the solar panels still gleaming in the Martian sunlight and carrying only a thin veneer of dust two years after the rover landed and began exploring the red planet.
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Image from rover of lander

Looking back
This image captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's rear hazard-identification camera shows the now-empty lander that carried the rover 283 million miles to Meridiani Planum, Mars.
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Beth Dewell

Beth Dewell

There are a few images that really stand out in my mind. One of which was seeing the heat shield on Opportunity. There's something extraordinary about being able to see part of the spacecraft that was flown there. Another image that was really intriguing for me is the Phobos/Deimos nighttime images. The rovers are on Mars and they're taking images of these moons. It just really strikes me as something that's amazing.
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Opportunity's heat shield

Heat shield
On the left, Opportunity's main heat shield piece is inverted and reveals its metallic insulation layer, glinting in the sunlight. The other large, flat piece of debris near the center of the image is about 14 meters (about 46 feet) away. The circular feature on the right side of the image is the crater made by the heat shield's impact.
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Images of Mars moons Deimos and Phobos from Spirit's camera

Moons
Taking advantage of extra solar energy collected during the day, NASA's Spirit rover settled in for an evening of stargazing, photographing the two moons of Mars as they crossed the night sky.
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Dr. Albert Haldemann

Dr. Albert Haldemann

The images I think I like best are the sunset images at Gusev. The blue sunset in the sandy, salmon sky takes my breath away. They remind me that we're on an alien world. On Earth, sunsets can be orange and red in a blue sky. But on Mars it's the other way around. And that's just cool.
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View of the sunset from Mars

Sunset
On May 19th, 2005, Spirit captured this stunning view as the sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. Sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds.
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Dr. Joy Crisp

Dr. Joy Crisp

The pictures of the berries in the soil that we first saw. They're so spherical that they're very interesting. At first I kept bouncing around saying no, there's no favorite. But I finally did and it's pictures of the dunes at the bottom of Endurance crater. Just their sheer beauty.
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Images of the blueberry-shaped formations

Berry
This image from Opportunity shows an extreme close-up of round, blueberry-shaped formations in the martian soil near a part of the rock outcrop at Meridiani Planum called "Stone Mountain." Scientists are studying these curious formations for clues about the area's past environmental conditions.
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Black and white dunes on Mars

Black and White Dunes
A raw, or unprocessed, image from Opportunity shows the dune field on the floor of "Endurance Crater."
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Dunes on Mars

Color dunes
As NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity creeps farther into "Endurance Crater," the dune field on the crater floor appears even more dramatic. This approximate true-color panoramic camera image highlights the reddish-colored dust present throughout the scene.
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Dr. Fuk Li

Dr. Fuk Li

Whenever we take a panoramic scan, it's almost like you are there. You're standing there an you're physically turning around, looking at the terrain, at the features. Not only you can see immediately in front of you but also projecting into the horizon.
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Panorama image of Mars taken by Spirit

Panorama
Spirit's panoramic camera took the hundreds of images combined into this 360-degree view, the "Husband Hill Summit" panorama. The rover spent more than a month exploring the summit region, measuring the chemistry and mineralogy of soils and rocky outcrops at the peak of Husband Hill for comparison with similar measurements obtained during the ascent.
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Videos  

Spirit Wiggles Into Position
NASA's Spirit completed a difficult, rocky ascent en route to reaching a captivating rock outcrop nicknamed "Hillary" at the summit of "Husband Hill."
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Spirit's Ascent
This movie shows the last few days of Spirit's ascent to the crest of "Husband Hill" inside Mars' Gusev Crater. The rover was going in reverse.
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Dust Devils
This clip shows several dust devils moving from right to left across a plain inside Mars' Gusev Crater, as seen from the vantage point of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in hills rising from the plain.
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