Based on the first direct measurements ever obtained of Martian rocks and terrain, scientists on NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission report in this week's Science magazine that the red planet may have once been much more like Earth.

The Sojourner Rover deploys the -proton x-ray spectrometer onto the rock named "Moe" within the rock garden in this 75- image, color-enhanced mosaic taken by the imager on the lander. (Image of the rover in the rock garden was taken on a different day than the terrain image.) The view is to the southwest, with the Carl Sagan Memorial Station in the foreground and South "Twin Peak" on the horizon about 1 km from the lander. [Image processed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA]

NOTE: original caption as published in Science magazine.

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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