This new view of the rock dubbed "Couch" was taken by the deployed Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on Sol 3. Earlier images, taken by the undeployed IMP, hinted that Couch was balanced upon the rectangular rock approximately three-quarters of the way up from the bottom of the image. The deployed IMP, standing 1.8 meters above the Martian surface, has now revealed Couch to be a free-standing object positioned at the Martian horizon.
The image was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) after its deployment on Sol 3. Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The 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.