Spirit Digs Up Soft Soil

When the wheels of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit dug into a patch of ground on its way to getting stuck, it exposed the color variations shown in this false color image taken on sol 1892: Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University For a sense of scale, the two rocks near the upper right corner of this […]

Free Spirit

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover website has a new Free Spirit page tracking the efforts to get Spirit “unstuck” from its sand trap. Engineers are mixing diatomaceous Earth and clay in the on-earth rover testbed to attempt to recreate conditions similar to the ones in which Spirit has gotten stuck on Mars so that a sequence […]

Opportunity’s Shadow

This self-portrait of Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was taken on sol 180 in July 2004 as the rover began it’s descent into Endurance Crater: Image credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA Endurance seems so long ago, and Opportunity has continued on to Victoria Crater and ultimately will attempt to reach Endeaver Crater after a […]

A Passion for Mars

My son Brian sent a copy of “A Passion for Mars” by Andrew Chaikin as a Father’s Day gift. It covers everything from the early Mariner missions to Spirit and Opportunity and beyond. I really enjoy Chaikin’s writing, and especially liked “A Man on the Moon“, his earlier book on the Apollo program that served […]

Sunset on Another World

Another of my favorites – a sunset on Mars as captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on May 19th, 2005: Image credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell If you click on the image to see a larger version, you can clearly see the sun sinking behind the rim of Gusev crater in the distance.

Io’s Tvashtar Volcano

To get things going again, I thought I’d start posting some of my favorite space images – and what could be better than this animated sequence of 5 images of the plume of Tvashtar volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io: Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute This sequence of images was captured […]