January 15th, 2004, 13:41 PM
NASA Celebrates Spirit Rover's Journey To Mars' Surface
NASA's Spirit rover has rolled off its lander and onto the martian soil early Thursday morning.
One of the first pictures the robot sent back after hitting the dirt was looking back at the lander it had rested on for 11 days. The shot includes a view of wheel tracks in the Martian dirt.
Mission plans call for Spirit to spend a few days parked beside the lander after rolling off, giving it time to find its bearings and perform some early analysis of the soil and rocks around it.
NASA then plans for the rover to start moving toward a crater more than 800 feet away. Spirit was designed to travel dozens of yards a day.
On the way, Spirit is to prospect for evidence that the now-dry red planet was once wetter and more hospitable to life.
Last edited by phishhead; January 15th, 2004 at 13:48 PM.