This synthetic image of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover on top of a rock called "Jibsheet" was produced using "Virtual Presence in Space" technology. Developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., this technology combines visualization and image-processing tools with Hollywood-style special effects. The image was created using a photorealistic model of the rover and a false-color mosaic. The size of the rover in the image is approximately correct and was based on the size of the rover tracks in the mosaic. The mosaic was assembled from frames taken by the panoramic camera on the rover's 489th Martian day, or sol (May 19, 2005); see PIA07997.
Because this synthesis provides viewers with a sense of their own "virtual presence" (as if they were there themselves), such views can be useful to mission teams in planning exploration by enhancing perspective and a sense of scale.