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The bright irregularly-shaped feature in area "a" of the image is Opportunity´ parachute, now lying on the martian surface. Near the parachute is the cone-shaped "backshell" that helped protect Opportunity´ lander during its seven-month journey to Mars. Dark surface material may have been disturbed when the backshell touched down, exposing the lighter-toned materials seen next to the backshell. (Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
Area "B" of the image shows the impact point and the broken remnants of Opportunity´ heat shield. The heat shield protected the vehicle during its fiery descent through the martian atmosphere, and then was released from the spacecraft during the final stages of the descent, breaking into two pieces when it hit the martian surface. Also visible is the small crater formed at the heat shield´ impact point. Opportunity visited the heat shield during its drive southward from Endurance crater. (Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
Area "C" of the image shows "Eagle crater", the small martian impact crater where Opportunity´ airbag-cushioned lander came to rest. The lander is still clearly visible on the floor of the crater. Opportunity spent about 60 martian days exploring rock outcrops and soils in Eagle crater before setting off to explore more of Meridiani Planum. (Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
01/14/09

 



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