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Spirit and Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars

January 7, 2014

“Spirit and Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars,” a collection of remarkable photographs of the red planet, opens Jan. 9 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Mars horizon
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National Air and Space Museum Traces Decade of Rover Discoveries

MER Mission Reveals the Art of Mars

“Spirit and Opportunity: 10 Years Roving Across Mars,” a collection of remarkable photographs of the red planet, opens Jan. 9 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The exhibition chronicles NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission, which has helped shape a new view of how the planet has evolved.

Mars horizon
Related photos: 

A Bowl Full of Blueberries

A Bowl Full of Blueberries

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

These loose, BB-sized, hematite-rich spherules are embedded in this Martian rock like blueberries in a muffin and released over time by erosion. The Mars Rover Opportunity found this cluster of them at its Eagle Crater landing site and analyzed their composition with its spectrometers. Hypotheses about their formation have contributed to the story of water on Mars.

Abstract Dunes

Abstract Dunes

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Ralph Bagnold, an early pioneer of dune studies, remarked that—compared to the nearly static chaos that seems to characterize slowly crumbling, weathering landscapes—sand dunes can “move inexorably, in regular formation, over the surface of the country, growing, retaining their shape, even breeding, in a manner which by its grotesque imitation of life, is vaguely disturbing to

Dust Devil and Weathered Rock

Dust Devil and Weathered Rock

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Spirit obtained this view of the area called Home Plate while parked atop Husband Hill. The colors emphasize differences in rock weathering. A large dust devil appears as the V-shaped discoloration of sky at the top right.

Image Number: WEB13647-2014

Setting Sun

Setting Sun

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Texas A&M/Cornell

The Mars Rover Spirit took this sublime view of a sunset over the rim of Gusev Crater, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. Taken from Husband Hill, it looks much like a sunset on Earth—a reminder that other worlds can seem eerily familiar.

The Empty Quarter

The Empty Quarter

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Rover tracks disappear toward the horizon like the wake of a ship across the desolate sea of sand between the craters Endurance and Victoria on the Meridiani Plains. Opportunity took the image while stuck in the sand ripple dubbed Purgatory for over a month.


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