Historical Mars Pathfinder Images

Mars Pathfinder home page at NSSDCA

[Mars Pathfinder Image] First image returned by Mars Pathfinder

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Second image returned by Mars Pathfinder

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80839 - The Sojourner rover and undeployed ramps onboard the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft can be seen in this image, by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on July 4 (Sol 1). This image has been corrected for the curvature created by parallax. The ramps are a pair of deployable metal reels which will provide a track for the rover as it slowly rolls off the lander, over the spacecraft's deflated airbags, and onto the surface of Mars. Pathfinder scientists will use this image to determine whether it is safe to deploy the ramps.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80807 - This picture from Mars Pathfinder was taken at 9:30 AM in the martian morning (1997 July 4 UT 21:30 - 5:30 PM EDT). The picture shows the Sojourner rover perched on one of three solar panels. The rover is 65 cm (26 inches) long. The white material to the left of the front of the rover is part of the airbag system used to cushion the landing. Many rocks of different sizes can be seen, set in a background of reddish soil. The landing site is in the mouth of an ancient channel carved by water. The rocks may be primarily flood debris. The horizon is seen towards the top of the picture. The light brown hue of the sky results from suspended dust.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80811 - This is one of the first pictures taken by the camera on the Mars Pathfinder lander shortly after its touchdown on 1997 July 4 UT 16:57 (12:57 PM EDT), or 17:07 Earth Received Time (1:07 PM EDT). The small rover, named Sojourner, is seen in the foreground in its position on a solar panel of the lander. The white material on either side of the rover is part of the deflated airbag system used to absorb the shock of the landing. Between the rover and the horizon is the rock-strewn martian surface. Two hills are seen in the right distance, profiled against the light brown sky.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80813 - View of martian surface taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), the camera on board the Mars Pathfinder lander. This image was taken in mid-morning on Mars 4 July 1997 UT 21:30 (5:30 PM EDT). Part of the small rover, Sojourner, is visible on the left side of the picture. The tan cylinder to the right of the rover is one of two rolled-up ramps by which the rover will descend to the ground. The white, billowy material in the center of the picture is part of the airbag system. Many rocks of different shapes and sizes are visible between the lander and the horizon. Two hills are visible on the horizon. The notch on the left side of the leftmost conical hill is an artifact of the processing of this picture.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80814 - This image from the Pathfinder IMP camera shows the rear part of the Sojourner rover, the rolled-up rear ramp, and portions of the partially deflated airbags. The Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer is protruding from the rear (right side) of the rover. The airbags behind the rover are presently blocking the ramp from being safely unfurled.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] [Mars Pathfinder Image]
Mars Pathfinder images 80823 and 80824 - These images show that the Mars Pathfinder airbags have been successfully retracted, allowing safe deployment of the rover ramps. The airbags visible prominently in the first image are noticeably retracted at the bottom of the second image. The Sojourner rover is at lower right in this second image, and rocks are visible in the background.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80895 - This image of the rear (or right) ramp was taken by the IMP camera on July 5, 1997. This ramp was used to deploy the rover.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 80911 - "Six wheels on soil!" The above image was taken by the IMP camera on July 6, 1997 at about 05:40 UT (1:40 AM EDT). Sojourner's descent down the rear rover deployment ramp was successful. The microrover's seven month journey from Earth to Mars is complete. Here it is stopped about 10 cm from the end of the ramp. The soil beneath Sojourner (with tracks showing behind the right rear wheel) will be the first target of the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer. A 9-frame movie of the Sojourner's descent down the ramp is also available (~500 K).

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 81003 - This is one of the first images taken by one of the two forward-facing rover cameras. It shows the partially deflated airbags and, in the upper right corner, the high gain antenna.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 81220 - First available full image of the Mars Pathfinder Lander as seen by the Sojourner Rover.

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Mars Pathfinder image 81314 - Sojourner has made contact with the rock Yogi in this image, taken with the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) at 11:45 p.m. EDT July 9 on Sol 6. The rover had backed up a little to far attempting to deploy the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument and the left rear wheel drove up onto Yogi. Sojourner has repositioned itself, and will put the APXS against Yogi.
A 1.1 Mb movie of the drive up to Yogi is also available. Also available is a movie showing the successful drive up to Yogi on sol 10 (1.4 M), and a smaller version (244 K) courtesy of April Daly (jerryapril@aol.com).

[Mars Pathfinder Image] Super-Resolution image showing the Mars Pathfinder Backshell - This image was created from 25 nearly identical frames to give one high-resolution view of the area looking towards Big Crater. The backshell is the bright white spot at middle-left. The 2.8 meter wide, 2.1 meter high backshell separated from the lander a few seconds before landing, and appears to be about 1200 meters from the lander to the south-southeast.

Caption information courtesy of Mars Pathfinder Project

Recent Mars Pathfinder Images
More Color Mars Pathfinder Images
More Black and White Mars Pathfinder Images
Comparison of Mars Pathfinder and Viking B&W Panoramas
Mars Pathfinder Project Image Site

Mars Pathfinder home page at NSSDCA

Dr. David R. Williams, dave.williams@nasa.gov
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dave Williams, david.r.williams@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 30 December 2004, DRW