An area of very rocky terrain at the Ares Vallis landing site, along with the lander's deflated airbags, were imaged by NASA's Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on July 6, 1997.

An area of very rocky terrain at the Ares Vallis landing site, along with the lander's deflated airbags, were imaged by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) before its deployment on Sol 2. The metallic object at the bottom is a bracket for the IMP's release mechanism.

Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

Photojournal note: Sojourner spent 83 days of a planned seven-day mission exploring the Martian terrain, acquiring images, and taking chemical, atmospheric and other measurements. The final data transmission received from Pathfinder was at 10:23 UTC on September 27, 1997. Although mission managers tried to restore full communications during the following five months, the successful mission was terminated on March 10, 1998.

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