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Press Release Images: Spirit
08-Jan-2004
High School Students Land on Mars
Full Press Release
 
Martian Surface at an Angle
Martian Surface at an Angle

This latest color "postcard from Mars," taken on Sol 5 by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, looks to the north. The apparent slope of the horizon is due to the several-degree tilt of the lander deck. On the left, the circular topographic feature dubbed Sleepy Hollow can be seen along with dark markings that may be surface disturbances caused by the airbag-encased lander as it bounced and rolled to rest. A dust-coated airbag is prominent in the foreground, and a dune-like object that has piqued the interest of the science team with its dark, possibly armored top coating, can be seen on the right.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Students, Public Connect with Mars
Students, Public Connect with Mars

This DVD carries nearly 4 million names collected by NASA in the "Send Your Name to Mars" project as well as various student activities. At the center of the DVD is a Lego "astrobot" minifigure that allows children to follow the mission via the astrobot diaries of Biff Starling and Sandy Moondust. Magnets on the outer edge of the DVD will collect dust for student analysis, and children can also decode the hidden message in the black dashes around the edges of the DVD. The DVD was provided and supported by the Planetary Society, the LEGO Company, Visionary Products, Inc., Plasmon OMS and the Danish magnet team.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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What time is it on Mars?
What time is it on Mars?

This image of the martian sundial onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was processed by the Student Astronauts to impose hour markings on the face of the dial. The position of the shadow of the sundial's post within the markings indicates the time of day and the season, which in this image is 12:17 p.m. local solar time, late summer. The Student Astronauts are a team of 16 students from 12 countries selected by the Planetary Society to participate in the Mars Exploration Rover program. This image was taken on Mars by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University
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Sundial Lands on Mars
Sundial Lands on Mars

Two views of a sundial called the MarsDial can be seen in this image taken on Mars by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's panoramic camera. These calibration instruments, positioned on the solar panels of both Spirit and the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, are tools for both scientists and educators. Scientists use the sundial to adjust the rovers' panoramic cameras, while students participating in NASA's Red Rover Goes to Mars program will monitor the dial to track time on Mars. Students worldwide will also have the opportunity to build their own Earth sundial and compare it to that on Mars.

The left image was captured near martian noon when the Sun was very high in the sky. The right image was acquired later in the afternoon when the Sun was lower in sky, casting longer shadows. The colored blocks in the corners of the sundial are used to fine-tune the panoramic camera's sense of color. Shadows cast on the sundial help scientists adjust the brightness of images.

The sundial is embellished with artwork from children, and displays the word Mars in 17 different languages.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University

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