No UFO, new photos show dead spacecraft on Mars

(EndPlay Staff Reports) - NASA has released new images of old Mars landers taken by some of its most recent equipment.

One image shows the three-petal lander of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit mission. NASA stated that it was January 2004 when Spirit drove off the platform and spent most of six years in a nearby range of hills.

The image, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, is the first color image from orbit of the lander.

Another image shows NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on far-northern Mars.

Space.com reported that the Phoenix lander photo, which also shows its cold surroundings, was taken on Jan. 26. The HiRISE camera took the Spirit lander photo on Jan. 29.

Spirit's mission had been to search for signs of past water activity. Both Spirit and its twin Opportunity found evidence that Mars once was wetter and warmer.

Space.com said Spirit got stuck in sand in May 2009. It lived on as a stationary observatory until it fell silent 10 months later as the Martian winter robbed it of sunlight needed by its solar panels.

Opportunity is still kicking and last year found what may be the best evidence yet of liquid water on the planet.

A lack of sunlight and other factors stopped Phoenix in its tracks in November 2008.

NASA stated its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been looking at the planet since 2006, giving scientists information about the planet's environments and its processes such as wind, seasonal frosts and meteorite impacts.

More than 21,000 images taken by HiRISE can be seen online .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments