Mars Pathfinder's rear rover ramp can be seen successfully unfurled in this image, taken at the end of Sol 2 by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP). This ramp was later used for the deployment of the microrover Sojourner, which occurred at the end of Sol 2. Areas of a lander petal and deflated airbag are visible at left. The image helped Pathfinder scientists determine that the rear ramp was the one to use for rover deployment. At upper right is the rock dubbed "Barnacle Bill," which Sojourner will later study.
Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.
Photojournal note: Sojourner spent 83 days of a planned seven-day mission exploring the Martian terrain, acquiring images, and taking chemical, atmospheric and other measurements. The final data transmission received from Pathfinder was at 10:23 UTC on September 27, 1997. Although mission managers tried to restore full communications during the following five months, the successful mission was terminated on March 10, 1998.