Released 5 January 2004
In the evening of January 3, the MER lander Spirit came to a safe landing right in the middle of Gusev Crater (shown by red arrow). This is an area riddled with dust devil tracks in the summertime (note the many dark streaks). With some luck those dust devils have scoured the surface clean of dust, exposing the underlying rocks which hold the secrets of Mars' past.
Over the next few months, the THEMIS team will be working with the Mini-TES instrument onboard Spirit to do extensive research in Gusev crater.
Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -14.6, Longitude 175.5 East (184.5 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.
Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.