This panorama of the region to the northeast of the lander was constructed to support the Sojourner Rover Team's plans to conduct an "autonomous traverse" to explore the terrain away from the lander after science objectives in the lander vicinity had been met. The large, relatively bright surface in the foreground, about 10 meters (33 feet) from the spacecraft, in this scene is "Baker's Bench." The large, elongated rock left of center in the middle distance is "Zaphod."
This view was produced by combining 8 individual "Superpan" scenes from the left and right eyes of the IMP camera. Each frame consists of 8 individual frames (left eye) and 7 frames (right eye) taken with different color filters that were enlarged by 500% and then co-added using Adobe Photoshop to produce, in effect, a super-resolution panchromatic frame that is sharper than an individual frame would be.
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). The 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.