PIA05713: Spirit Gets Her Kicks at 'Route 66'
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Spirit
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 902 x 1012 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA05713.tif (853.7 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA05713.jpg (108.1 kB)

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NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this panoramic camera image on sol 91. It shows Spirit's current resting place at the base of a 60-centimeter-wide (23.6-inch-wide), 24-centimeter-high (9.4-inch-high) rock dubbed "Route 66."

Found along Spirit's trek toward the Columbia Hills, this rock piqued scientist's interest because its light-toned and scalloped surface is very similar to the previously targeted rock called "Mazatzal." Scientists are debating whether to spend time analyzing Route 66, or to bank energy and keep driving toward its ultimate goal, the eastern-lying Columbia Hills.

Scientists have some time to debate the issue because Spirit will remain at this location through the flight software update that will occur during sols 94 to 98.

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