Making Tracks on Mars
This image captured by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's rear hazard-identification camera shows the now-empty lander that carried the rover 283 million miles to Meridiani Planum, Mars.
Date: 31 Jan 2004
Engineers received confirmation that Opportunity's six wheels successfully rolled off the lander and onto martian soil at 3:01 a.m. PST, January 31, 2004, on the seventh martian day, or sol, of the mission. The rover is approximately 1 meter (3 feet) in front of the lander, facing north.
Immediate science results from the rover indicated that the site does indeed have a type of mineral, crystalline hematite, that was the principal reason the site was selected for exploration.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL