The undeployed Sojourner rover is seen still latched to a lander petal in this image, taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on Sol 1, the lander's first day on Mars. Portions of a petal and deflated airbag are in the foreground. The rectangular rock at right has been dubbed "Flat top," and may be a possible object of study for Sojourner's Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument. The mismatched portion of image at left is a misregistered section of data.
Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.
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.