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Explore Mars event
New Mars orbiter spots Pathfinder spacecraft
Posted: Mon, Jan 15, 2007, 7:43 AM ET (1243 GMT)
MRO image of Mars Pathfinder landing site (NASA/JPL) A new Mars orbiter with a powerful camera has spotted the landing site of an earlier Mars mission, Mars Pathfinder, and may have also seen that lander's small rover. NASA released images last week of the Mars Pathfinder landing site taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft in September 2006. Pathfinder, which landed on Mars on July 4, 1997, was only the third NASA spacecraft to land on the Martian surface, and the first since the two Viking missions in 1976. A high-resolution image taken by MRO clearly shows the Pathfinder lander and a number of rocks in the vicinity that were studied by the lander in the months after touchdown. The image also shows a small blip that may be Sojourner, the small rover carried by Pathfinder that roamed around the landing site.
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