Mars Pathfinder & Sojourner Rover (360 View) Explained
Thanks to new technology, we can take a 360-degree tour of the 1997 Pathfinder mission landing site, including Sojourner, the first Mars rover. Check out this interactive YouTube panorama, and then…
…keep scrolling to find out more about each point of interest, how the Pathfinder mission compares to “The Martian” and NASA’s real Journey to Mars.
“Yogi” is a meter-size rock about 5 meters northwest of the Mars Pathfinder lander and the second rock visited by the Sojourner Rover’s alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) instrument. This mosaic shows super resolution techniques applied to help to address questions about the texture of this rock and what it might tell us about how it came to be.
The Twin Peaks are modest-size hills to the southwest of the Mars Pathfinder landing site. They were discovered on the first panoramas taken by the IMP camera on the July 4, 1997, and subsequently identified in Viking Orbiter images taken over 20 years ago. They’re about 30-35 meters tall.
“Barnacle Bill” is a small rock immediately west-northwest of the Mars Pathfinder lander and was the first rock visited by the Sojourner Rover’s alpha proton X-ray spectrometer (APXS) instrument. If you have some old-school red-cyan glasses, put them on and see this pic in eye-popping 3-D.
The Rock Garden is a cluster of large, angular rocks tilted in a downstream direction from ancient floods on Mars. The rocky surface is comprised of materials washed down from the highlands and deposited in this ancient outflow channel.
This vista was stitched together from many images taken in 1997 by Pathfinder.
Pathfinder and Sojourner figure into Mark Watney’s quest for survival on the Red Planet in the book and movie, “The Martian.” See JPL’s role in making “The Martian” a reality: http://go.nasa.gov/1McRrXw and discover nine real NASA technologies depicted in “The Martian”: http://go.nasa.gov/1QiyUiC.
So what about the real-life “Journey to Mars”? NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. Discover more at http://nasa.gov/journeytomars and don’t forget to visit me when you make it to the Red Planet. Until then, stay curious and I’ll see you online.