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SP-425 The Martian Landscape


Looking Backward


Figure 107

Figure 108

Figure 109


[94-95] As was the case for Lander 1, some of the more fascinating Lander 2 pictures are those taken looking back across the spacecraft. Figures 107 and 108 show an early morning and midday view of the same region. The pipes at the right were connected to the Orbiter during the trip to Mars in order to stabilize and monitor the internal Lander environment. The top of leg 1, at the rear of the triangular spacecraft, occurs in the bottom center.

Although most of the blocks on the surface are irregularly broken and pitted, some have smooth, conchoidal fractures.

An example appears at the far left in figure 108. This morphology is typical for glassy to fine grained volcanic rocks.

Figure 109 is a low resolution view showing a larger area than that contained in the high resolution views of figures 107 and 108. A large number of spacecraft components are identifiable, including the RTG protective covers, two of three reference test targets for the cameras, and the dish shaped S band antenna.

Brightness contouring in the sky, particularly well developed in figure 109 but detectable in many other pictures, is caused by increasing sky brightness as the camera moves toward the Sun. The Lander camera transforms this continuous gradation into a series of discrete steps with increasing brightness. The filamentous horizontal bright streaks in the sky are caused by spurious reflections of light from the outer camera housing. When the camera mirror is at certain critical positions, this light interferes with the normal radiance of the scene.

Figure 110

Figure 111


[96-97] Figures 110 and 111 are panoramas looking toward the southwest at different times of day. The hinge assembly on the S band antenna is prominently shown left of center in both figures. The vertical upper mast appears at the center. The horizon near the left edge of the scene is much closer than at the right, because of the presence of a small rise. One result is that individual blocks are visible on the horizon to the left but not to the right.

Figure 112

[98] Two pairs of views behind the spacecraft are shown. Figures 112 and 113 show a distinctive conchoidally fractured block near the middle of the scene.

Figures 114 and 115 show a round 10 cm magnifying mirror in the foreground. During the mission, the sampler arm was positioned in front of this fixed mirror and the reflected image was photographed. In this way it was possible to get a 5X enlargement of magnetic soil particles adhering to the magnets on the sampler head. In the early morning view (fig. 114) an erosional collar of sediment is discernible around one of the blocks.


Figure 113

Figure 114

Figure 115