NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
Mars for Press
Summary
Press Releases
Press Kits
Fact Sheets
Image Gallery
Press Releases

January 25, 2004

First Images Of Opportunity Site Show Bizarre Landscape

First color image from Opportunity
First color image from Opportunity
NASA's Opportunity rover returned the first pictures of its landing site early today, revealing a surreal, dark landscape unlike any ever seen before on Mars.

Opportunity relayed the images and other data via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The data showed that the spacecraft is healthy, said Matt Wallace, mission manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Opportunity has touched down in a bizarre, alien landscape," said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the science instruments on Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. "I'm flabbergasted. I'm astonished. I'm blown away."

The terrain is darker than at any previous Mars landing site and has the first accessible bedrock outcropping ever seen on Mars. The outcropping immediately became a candidate target for the rover to visit and examine up close.

Wallace noted that the straight-ahead path looks clear for the rover to roll off its lander platform. The rover is facing north-northeast.

JPL Administrator Dr. Charles Elachi said, "This team succeeded the old fashioned way. They were excellent, they were determined, and they worked very hard."

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover project for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Images and additional information about the project are available from JPL at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov and from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., at http://athena.cornell.edu .

###
Guy Webster (818) 354-5011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Donald Savage (202) 358-1547
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE: 2004-036

USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS