Mars Exploration Rovers Update
Spirit Moves to New Targets, Opportunity "Sails On" Around Victoria's Rim
By A.J.S. Rayl
November 30, 2006
Edited: I just can't wait for this HiRISE image of Gusev!
Although the entire image of the Gusev crater site has not been officially released yet, the MER team was given the section that shows Spirit and some of the immediate surrounding area. All thumbs are way up as far as the early reviews go. "It's spectacular," Arvidson said, "and is already impacting our thoughts about where to go after Home Plate."
In some respects, I think the [HiRISE image of] Spirit is almost better [than the Opportunity images]," offered Steve Squyres, the principal investigator for rover science and a professor of astronomy at Cornell University. "The lander is beautifully shown. The image of the backshell and the parachute is stunning -- you can actually see wrinkles in the parachute fabric and the backshell clearly landed right side up. The heat shield is very hard to see, but the rover you can see quite clearly. Husband Hill is spectacular. Bonneville crater is spectacular. You can see Home Plate and stuff around it that wasn't evident before, and it really is already dramatically affecting our planning," he added during an interview today.