Disturbance of the drift at NASA's Mars Pathfinder's landing site reveals a shallow subsurface that is slightly darker but has similar spectral properties.

Disturbance of the drift at the Pathfinder landing site reveals a shallow subsurface that is slightly darker but has similar spectral properties. The top set of images, in true color, shows the soils disturbed by the last bounce of the lander on its airbags before coming to rest and the marks created by retraction of the airbags. In the bottom set of images color differences have been enhanced. The mast at center is the Atmospheric Structure Instrument/Meteorology Package (ASI/MET). The ASI/MET is an engineering subsytem that acquired atmospheric data during Pathfinder's descent, and will continue to get more data through the entire landed mission. A shadow of the ASI/MET appears on a rock at left.

Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 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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