A robotic rover that is active from 2004 to 2010 is known as Spirit or MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover – A). It was one of the ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission of NASA that is landed successfully on the ground of Mars in January 4, 2004 at 4:35 Ground UTC.
This was considered as a start of 90-sol mission. But it can also be viewed as a starting of much longer mission lasting till 2010. The Spirit was targeted to monitor the site that is considered as affected by water in past. There are so called crater Gusev, the name given to the lake that was there in the site. There it can trace a giant impact crater about 10 km from the center of targeted eclipse which gives the evidence for water.
Spirit Lands on Mars Google Doodle , landed on Google homepage to announce this successful mission of NASA on January 15th of 2004. Spirit Google doodle images the rover in it along with two astronauts portrayed in a comic look.
The aircraft is protected with airbag and the rover is rolled out on the surface of site and take some panoramic pictures. These give scientists sufficient information about the geographical details about the site. This also help them to identify the locations where on – site observation is necessary.
The panoramic image of mass contains slightly rolling surface and little rocks and hills 27 km away on the horizon. The observed site is named as “Columbia Memorial Station,” by the MER team in memory of 7 astronauts killed in the Colombia space shuttle crash.
The early destination of rover was the “Sleepy Hollow,” is a shallow depression observed on the right side of the mentioned site. The panoramic image of the site is the most high resolution image taken by any space shuttle on the surface of any other planet.The spirit ceased communication with the mission center on 21st January 2004. It indicated a beep sound that reveals that it receives signal from Earth. But it was believed to be in fault mode.
The Spirit also takes the image of the shallow depression on the grinding of a rock on Mars surface. It take this picture by over’s microscopic imager and two spectrometers on the robotic arm.
Spirt landed on Mars also send the image of flaky rock called Mimi that is seemed to be subjected to impact. It looks like cemented into flaky layers and it is the sign of impact of water.
According to NASA’s report the Spirit was able to trace hints of water history in the planet. It also rover on the Bonneville crater but couldn’t find any trace of interesting facts that was expected. It also rover on Lahontan Centre and Columbia Hills send some interesting pictures that helped scientists to observe about the geographical specialty of Mars.