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Spirit Begins Third Martian Year
Mars Exploration Rover - Spirit

As it finished its second Martian year on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was beginning to examine a group of angular rocks given informal names corresponding to peaks in the Colorado Rockies. A Martian year -- the amount of time it takes Mars to complete one orbit around the sun -- lasts for 687 Earth days. Spirit completed its second Martian year on the rover's 1,338th Martian day, or sol, corresponding to Oct. 8, 2007.

Two days later, on sol 1,340 (Oct. 10, 2007), Spirit used its front hazard-identification camera to capture this wide-angle view of its robotic arm extended to a rock informally named "Humboldt Peak." For the rocks at this site on the southern edge of the "Home Plate" platform in the inner basin of the Columbia Hills inside Gusev Crater, the rover team decided to use names of Colorado peaks higher than 14,000 feet. The Colorado Rockies team of the National League is the connection to the baseball-theme nomenclature being used for features around Home Plate.

The tool facing Spirit on the turret at the end of the robotic arm is the Moessbauer spectrometer.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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