Mars Rover tracks viewed from orbit

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mars Rover viewed from orbit.

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and its tracks are captured in this enhanced-resolution image.

The picture was taken from Mars orbit with the Mars Orbiter Camera on board the Mars Global Surveyor. The image was captured on April 26, 2004, Opportunity's 91st martian day. The rover was on its way to Endurance Crater.

Mars Global Surveyor

Also visible and labeled on this image are the spacecraft's lander, backshell, parachute and heat shield, plus effects of its landing rockets.

The camera captured this image with use of a technique called compensated pitch and roll targeted observation. In this method, the entire spacecraft rolls as it passes over the target area so the camera can scan in a way that sees details at three times higher resolution than the camera's normal high-resolution capability.

Sunlight illuminates the scene from the left. North is toward the top of the image. The 100-meter scale bar is 109 yards long.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS