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SPIRIT SAYS GOODBYE TO BONNEVILLE CRATER
NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this panoramic camera image on sol 86 (March 31, 2004) before driving 36 meters (118 feet) on sol 87 toward its future destination, the Columbia Hills. This is probably the last panoramic camera image that Spirit will take from the high rim of "Bonneville" crater, and provides an excellent view of the ejecta-covered path the rover has journeyed thus far. The lander can be seen toward the upper right of the frame and is approximately 321 meters (1060 feet) away from Spirit’s current location. The large hill on the horizon is Grissom Hill. The Colombia Hills, located to the left, are not visible in this image. (UPI Photo/NASA)
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A Mars rover is an automated motor vehicle which propels itself across the surface of the planet Mars after landing.

Rovers have several advantages over stationary landers: they examine more territory, they can be directed to interesting features, they can place themselves in sunny positions to weather winter months and they can advance the knowledge of how to perform very remote robotic vehicle control.

There have been three successful Mars rovers, all of which were robotically operated. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory managed the Mars Pathfinder mission with its Sojourner rover and currently manages the Mars Exploration Rover Mission with its two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. (There have also been two successful non-Martian robotic rovers: in the 1970s the USSR sent two Lunokhod rovers to the Moon.)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mars rover."
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