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Press Release Images: Opportunity
03-Jan-2005
NASA Rovers' Adventures on Mars Continue
Full Press Release
Heat Shield Flank
Heat Shield Flank

This image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows a portion of the heat shield that the spacecraft jettisoned shortly before landing. This flank piece broke off from the main piece of the heat shield upon impact. The crater created by the impact of the heat shield can be seen in the upper right of the image. Rover tracks appear across the top of the image. Opportunity took this image with its navigation camera during the rover's 331st martian day, or sol (Dec. 28, 2004).

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Closing in on Heat Shield
Closing in on Heat Shield

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera for this view of the flank piece of the spacecraft's heat shield on the rover's 332nd martian day, or sol (Dec. 29, 2004). The team that designed the descent and landing systems for the rovers is trying to characterize heat-shield performance by examining the wreckage of Opportunity's heat shield.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Heat Shield's Main Piece
Heat Shield's Main Piece

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity caught this view of the main piece of the spacecraft's heat shield during the rover's 328th martian day, or sol (Dec. 25, 2004). A separation spring can be seen on the ground to the lower left side of the heat shield.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Illustration of Launching Samples Home from Mars
Illustration of Launching Samples Home from Mars

One crucial step in a Mars sample return mission would be to launch the collected sample away from the surface of Mars. This artist's concept depicts a Mars ascent vehicle for starting a sample of Mars rocks on their trip to Earth.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
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Target of Opportunity to the South
Target of Opportunity to the South

After NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity finishes examining its heat shield, the rover team plans to direct Opportunity southward toward a round feature dubbed "Vostok," about 1.2 kilometers (three-fourths of a mile) away. The plan is to check out small craters along the way.

This image is from the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. North is up, and the big circle at the top is "Endurance Crater."

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
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