NASA’s Spirit Rover, Seen from Above

Just in case you needed more evidence that yes, there are robots from Earth roving around on Mars, check out this photograph. Okay, so it’s a little blurry, and you wouldn’t actually know what you were looking at unless I told you. That’s NASA’s Spirit rover, photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The blue diamond-shaped feature in the image is “Home Plate”; a puzzling region located inside the massive Gusev Crater on Mars. Spirit is a tiny dark grey speck inside Home Plate? See it? No, ah well, we’ll just have to trust the imaging folks over at NASA and the University of Arizona.

This colour image of Spirit was captured on September 27th by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. During this period it was flying about 270 km (168 miles) above the surface of the planet.

Although you really can’t see too much of Spirit, the image helps planetary geologists put data sent back by Spirit into context.

Spirit is now driving itself to a safe, north-facing slope on the north side of Home Plate. This will position its solar panels towards the Sun, so that it can soak up as much of the Sun’s light as possible during the long Martian winter. This will let the rover continue its science operations.

Original Source: UA News Release