Looks like the Mars Rover called Spirit not only managed a near-perfect landing, but is already sending pictures of its new Martian home including the first full-color picture since 1997. This pic is notable because it’s the highest resolution picture ever taken of the planet’s surface weighing in at a hefty eight megabytes. The pic I’ve linked to is a smaller jpeg that’s only one megabyte as the larger picture is currently unavailable due to high server load at NASA.
I just finished watching the episode of NOVA devoted to the mission on PBS and it did a great job of showing just how much of a challenge this undertaking has been. PBS plans to make the episode available online to watch later on now that it has aired so if you missed it you can check it out on their website soon. Anyway, a big congratulations to every at NASA and here’s hoping that Spirit’s twin rover “Opportunity” enjoys as smooth a ride to the surface when it’s due to land on January 24.