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Thursday, February 03, 2005
Martian Impact

This breath-taking color mosaic of the Opportunity rover’s January 24, 2004 heat shield impact site on the desolate red sand of the Meridiani Planum was released, today, by NASA/JPL.
According to NASA's Mars Rover web site, the images comprising the mosaic “were acquired” on the Opportunity rover’s 330 Martian day or “sol” and correspond to the earthly date of December 28,2004.
The main piece of silvery heat shield debris, inverted from its roughish landing, is visible, glinting in sunlight, on the left side of the image.
This piece stands 3.3 feet tall and rests 43 feet from the rover’s position.
The large circular area on the right side of the image is the crater made by the heat shield impact.
The impact crater is 9.2 feet in diameter and approximately 2 to 4 inches deep.
The crater is about 20 feet from Opportunity’s camera position.
Smaller bits of heat shield debris are visible around the impact site including a larger and flat dark piece above and to the left of the impact crater.


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