Spirit, the first of NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, executed a successful landing in the Gusev Crater on January 3. The rover took several captivating snapshots of the landscape, revealing hills on the horizon and details in nearby rocks, in addition to vanity shots of itself. These color and 3-D images aren’t just for wowing the public — scientists will use them to map out Spirit’s first road trip. One possible destination is an apparent depression in the surface that scientists have nicknamed “Sleepy Hollow.” And this is just the beginning: The other 400-lb. rover, Opportunity, is scheduled to land on January 24. Keep checking in with Popular Science for the onClick=”window.open(”,’popup1′,’height=585,width=700,scrollbars=yes,resize=no’)” target=”popup1″ class=”sidebar”>latest images.
The Rover Chronicles
In its first week on Mars, the Spirit rover sends back the most detailed images of the Red Planet's surface ever seen, and there's more to come.