Looking southwest from the lander, soil disturbances indicating the spacecraft rolled through the landing site are visible. Arriving from the east, the lander, still encased in its protective airbags, rolled up a slight rise and then rolled back down to its final position. The inset at left shows displaced rocks near the rock "Flat Top." Dark patches of disturbed soil indicate where the rocks had originally rested Both insets show rocks that were pushed into the soil from the weight of the lander, visible from the areas of raised rims of dark, disturbed soil around several rocks. The south summit of Twin Peaks is in the background, while a lander petal, deflated airbag, and rear rover deployment ramp are in the foreground.
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. 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. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
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.