This mosaic image taken by the Spirit's panoramic camera and made available by NASA Jan. 10, 2004, shows a view southwest of the rover's landing site in the Gusev Crater. The landscape shows little variation in local topography, though a narrow peak is visible about 5 miles off on the horizon. A circular depression, similar to the one dubbed Sleepy Hollow, is in the foreground.
Spirit successfully stood up on its lander on Jan. 8, 2004, a major step in preparing to explore. This image from the rover's front hazard-avoidance camera shows the rover in the final stage of its stand-up process. The two wheels on the bottom right and left are locked into position, along with the suspension system.
This image shows the Martian terrain through the eyes of the Spirit's mini-thermal emission spectrometer, an instrument that detects the infrared light, or heat, emitted by objects. The data has been superimposed on an image taken by the rover's panoramic camera. The circles show a spectrum of soil and rock temperatures, with red showing warmer regions and blue, cooler.
This color "postcard from Mars," released Jan. 8, 2004, looks to the north. A dust-coated airbag is prominent in the foreground, and a dune-like object that has piqued the interest of the science team with its dark, possibly armored top coating, can be seen on the right.
Here are two views of a sundial called the MarsDial, in an image taken by the Spirit rover's panoramic camera. The left image was captured near the Martian noon when the Sun was very high in the sky. The right image was acquired later in the afternoon when the Sun was lower. Scientists use the sundial to adjust the rovers' panoramic cameras, while students are monitoring it to track time on Mars.
A 3-D image taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit features dust-covered rocks. Scientists planned to use the rover's rock-abrasion tool to grind away dusty and weathered rock and expose fresh rock underneath.
A plaque commemorating the STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia crew is shown on the Mars Spirit rover that's exploring Mars, Jan. 6, 2004. The plaque is mounted on the back of Spirit's high-gain antenna, a disc-shaped tool used for communicating directly with Earth.
Released Jan. 7, 2004, this segment of the first color image from the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's airbag trails. The depressions in the soil were made when the airbags were deflated and retracted after landing.
This is the sharpest photograph ever taken of Martian terrain. The smooth surfaces of the angular and rounded rocks may be the result of wind-polishing debris. The picture was taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and released by NASA on Jan. 6, 2004.
A color image of Mars taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, released Jan. 6, 2004. NASA scientists called the color picture a "postcard," sent across 105 million miles of space to Earth.
This sprawling panorama of Spirit's landing site is the first 3-D stereo image from the rover's navigation camera. A 30-foot surface depression nicknamed "Sleepy Hollow" can be seen to center left of the image. Scientists theorize it is either an impact crater or a product of wind erosion. The 3-D photo is a combination of the rover's right and left camera.
A reporter at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., looks at a 3-D image from the Spirit rover on Mars, Jan. 5, 2004.
This mosaic image taken by the Spirit's navigation camera, Jan. 3, 2004, represents an overhead view of the rover on the surface of Mars.
This image taken by the hazard avoidance camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the rover's front wheels in stowed configuration.
This is one of the first images beamed back to Earth shortly after the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed on the red planet.
A second image, this time taken at an altitude of 1,690 meters, taken by the Spirit's descent image motion estimation system camera as the lander descends to Mars, Jan. 3, 2004.
This mosaic image taken by the Spirit's navigation camera shows a view of the rover on the surface of Mars, Jan. 3, 2004.
This image, released Jan. 4, 2004, was taken by Spirit's hazard avoidance camera and shows the rover's rear lander pedal and, in the background, the Martian horizon.
This mosaic image taken by Spirit's navigation camera shows a clear overhead view of the rover on the surface of Mars after its successfully landing, Jan. 3, 2004. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began receiving the first of an estimated 60 to 80 images from Spirit's cameras just three hours after the robot made an apparently flawless landing on the Red Planet.
This image was taken by the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) camera located on the bottom of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's lander as it descended to Mars, Jan. 3, 2004. Numerous small impact craters can be seen on the surface of the planet, with the largest, Gusev, pictured to the right of center. The image was taken at an altitude of 1,400 meters.