The patch of dark material toward the top of this picture taken by NASA's Viking 1 Lander is the debris kicked up by the impact of a protective cover ejected from the spacecraft.

The patch of dark material toward the top of this picture (arrow) taken by the Viking 1 Lander is the debris kicked up by the impact of a protective cover ejected from the spacecraft at 1 a.m. today. The cylindrical cover, which bounced out of view of the camera, protects the scoop at the end of the soil sampler arm. (The scoop will dig into the Martian surface for the first time on July 28). Dust and debris atop the footpad remains as it was seen in the Lander's first picture taken immediately after landing two days ago. No wind modification is apparent. On the surface, a variety of block sizes, shapes and tones are seen, and some rocks are Partially buried.

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