(Originally published in the 3 Sept 2007 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. Reprinted with permission):
"The NASA/JPL Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity are driving again on Mars after surviving electrical power shortages, caused by global dust storms that have swept the planet since July. Opportunity drove dozens of feet back to the rim of Victoria crater last week. The rover took this false color mosaic that preserves details, but sharply distorts elevation to make it falsely appear that the rover is on a hill. The mosaic [Below], prepared exclusively for Aviation Week & Space Technology, was taken by a front black-and- white hazard camera and colorized using earlier Pancam data."
"Managers hope "Oppy" will finally begin a descent into the crater by late September. This week, Mars is 100 million mi. from Earth. Note smooth rock surfaces under arm. Rover tracks, antenna and solar array are visible (left) and a front wheel (foreground). Cornell University Athena instruments on arm include Alpha Particle Spectrometer (facing camera), German Mossbauer spectrometer (right), microscopic imager (left) and rock abrasion tool (pointing forward)."
Click on image to enlarge
Credit: MOSAIC BY MARCO DI LORENZO, KEN KREMER AND UNMANNEDSPACEFLIGHT.COM WITH NASA/JPL DATA