This false-color combination image highlights details of wind effects on the Martian soil at the Pathfinder landing site. Red and blue filter images have been combined to enhance brightness contrasts among several soil units. Martian winds have distributed these lighter and darker fine materials in complex patterns around the rocks in the scene (blue). For scale, the rock at right center is 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) long. This scene is one of several that will be monitored weekly for changes caused by wind activity.
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 and Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). 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.