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Spirit Discovers Surprises in Martian Soil, but Earth Weather Blocks Commands to Continue Work

A.J.S. Rayl • January 21, 2004

Spirit got off to a running start this week, using three of the four instruments on her robotic arm to study a patch of Martian soil, and the football-sized rock Adirondack.

Titan: Arizona in an Icebox?

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2004

A week after Huygens' descent, the emerging picture of the surface of that smoggy world is of an arid, icy desert, where periodic storms of methane rain create transient rivers that wash sooty soil from icy highlands out to short-lived pools and lakes. The pools dry up -- perhaps sinking into a sandy soil of glass-like water ice -- and the Titanian desert waits for another methane storm.

Spirit Ventures Out to First Target

A.J.S. Rayl • January 19, 2004

Spirit ventured out yesterday, driving nearly 10 feet (about 3 meters) to its first target -- a football-sized rock that scientists have dubbed Adirondack. Meanwhile, Spirit's twin, Opportunity, successfully completed its first trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) in four months.

Spirit Extends Arm and Takes First Close-Up Images of Martian Soil

A.J.S. Rayl • January 17, 2004

Spirit has extended her robotic arm for the first time to examine a patch of fine-grained Martian soil, and joined forces with the European Space Agency's Mars Express to successfully conduct the first-ever, international, coordinated observation of the planet's atmosphere.

Spirit Hits the -- Martian -- Road!

A.J.S. Rayl • January 15, 2004

Spirit gets 6 wheels on soil. For some of the team members, this was the real landing.

Let's Roll: Spirit Poised to Cruise onto Martian Surface

A.J.S. Rayl • January 14, 2004

Spirit is ready to roll.

Spirit Begins Maneuver to Roll onto Surface; Mars Rover will "Head for the Hills"

A.J.S. Rayl • January 13, 2004

As Earthlings slept last night, Spirit completed the first part of a three-part maneuver that will take her down the ramp and onto the Martian surface early Thursday morning Earth time.

Spirit Set to Roll Off Lander Thursday

A.J.S. Rayl • January 12, 2004

Spirit is up -- standing at full height on all six wheels -- and is ready to roll off the lander heading west by northwest, probably sometime early Thursday morning Earth time, according to the latest plan.

Mars Rover Spirit Sends First 360-Degree Color Panorama 'Postcard' and Prepares to Roll onto Martian Surface

A.J.S. Rayl • January 12, 2004

As Spirit slept soundly after another near-perfect day of picture taking, science gathering, and data relays from Mars, NASA released the first color 360-degree panorama postcard it sent home.

Spirit Returns More "Exquisite" Data, Inspires New Generation of Space Explorers

A.J.S. Rayl • January 09, 2004

Spirit continues to return "exquisite" science data -- including more impressive high-resolution pictures of its alien surroundings -- and it has stood up, but the golf-cart sized rover is still days away from rolling off the Columbia Memorial Station.

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