This image, taken by Sojourner's front right camera, was taken when the rover was next to Poohbear (rock at left) and Piglet (not seen) as it looked out toward Mermaid Dune. The textures differ from the foreground soil containing a sorted mix of small rocks, fines and clods, from the area a bit ahead of the rover where the surface is covered with a bright drift material. Soil experiments where the rover wheels dug in the soil revealed that the cloudy material exists underneath the drift.
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 a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
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.