PASADENA, Calif., July 17 -- The 13th day of Pathfinder's Martian adventure has ended with its rover poised against an intriguing white rock dubbed Scooby Doo, and the first bits of high-resolution panoramic images on their way to Earth. Spokesman Carl Steiner of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory called the day 'one of good fortune.'
The Pathfinder lander beamed fifty-six megabits of data back to scientists at mission control in Pasadena, Calif. Part of that data was a collection of pictures of the dog-sized rover in action. The pictures make a jerky movie that shows Sojourner rolling 100 inches (2.5 meters) to meet Scooby Doo, a white rock geologists say they are drooling to examine more closely. As with two previous rocks Sojourner has scrutinized, the rover's next step is to lay a wand-like chemical analyzer against Scooby Doo. That analysis is due back on Friday. The Pathfinder lander also began sending the first of eight high- resolution color images taken in stereo. Finally, NASA engineers believe they have isolated a software glitch that has triggered three computer resets on the lander this week. They plan to upload an upgraded version of the flight software on Saturday. If all goes as planned, the new program will allow the Sagan Pathfinder to monitor the Martian weather around the clock. It will also mean the lander and rover can conduct their operations simultaneously. (Written by Elizabeth Manning in Washington)NEWLN:---
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