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Spirit Mars Rover Mission to the Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater: Mission overview and selected results from the Cumberland Ridge to Home Plate

Arvidson, R. E. and Ruffins, S. W. and Morris, R. V. and Ming, D. W. and Crumpler, L. S. and Yen, A. S. and Squyres, S. W. and Sullivan, R. J. and Bell, J. F., III and Cabrol, N. A. and Clark, B. C. and Farrand, W. H. and Gellert, R. and Greenberger, R. and Grant, J. A. and Guinness, E. A. and Herkenhoff, K. E. and Hurowitz, J. A. and Johnson, J. R. and Klingelhöfer, G. and Lewis, K. W. and Li, R. and McCoy, T. J. and Moersch, J. and McSween, H. Y. and Murchie, S. L. and Schmidt, M. and Schröder, C. and Wang, A. and Wiseman, S. and Madsen, M. B. and Goetz, W. and McLennan, S. M. (2008) Spirit Mars Rover Mission to the Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater: Mission overview and selected results from the Cumberland Ridge to Home Plate. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 113 (E12). E12S33. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2008JE003183.

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This paper summarizes the Spirit rover operations in the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater from sols 513 to 1476 and provides an overview of selected findings that focus on synergistic use of the Athena Payload and comparisons to orbital data. Results include discovery of outcrops (Voltaire) on Husband Hill that are interpreted to be altered impact melt deposits that incorporated local materials during emplacement. Evidence for extensive volcanic activity and aqueous alteration in the Inner Basin is also detailed, including discovery and characterization of accretionary lapilli and formation of sulfate, silica, and hematite-rich deposits. Use of Spirit's data to understand the range of spectral signatures observed over the Columbia Hills by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) hyperspectral imager (0.4–4 μm) is summarized. We show that CRISM spectra are controlled by the proportion of ferric-rich dust to ferrous-bearing igneous minerals exposed in ripples and other wind-blown deposits. The evidence for aqueous alteration derived from Spirit's data is associated with outcrops that are too small to be detected from orbital observations or with materials exposed from the shallow subsurface during rover activities. Although orbital observations show many other locations on Mars with evidence for minerals formed or altered in an aqueous environment, Spirit's data imply that the older crust of Mars has been altered even more extensively than evident from orbital data. This result greatly increases the potential that the surface or shallow subsurface was once a habitable regime.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Arvidson, R. E.0000-0002-2854-0362
Morris, R. V.0000-0003-1413-4002
Ming, D. W.0000-0003-0567-8876
Crumpler, L. S.0000-0002-5941-6372
Yen, A. S.0000-0003-2410-0412
Sullivan, R. J.0000-0003-4191-598X
Bell, J. F., III0000-0002-2006-4074
Clark, B. C.0000-0002-5546-8757
Gellert, R.0000-0001-7928-834X
Greenberger, R.0000-0003-1583-0261
Grant, J. A.0000-0001-8276-1281
Guinness, E. A.0000-0002-0172-3441
Herkenhoff, K. E.0000-0002-3153-6663
Hurowitz, J. A.0000-0002-5857-8652
Johnson, J. R.0000-0002-5586-4901
Klingelhöfer, G.0000-0002-8612-6354
Lewis, K. W.0000-0003-3412-803X
McSween, H. Y.0000-0003-3749-7711
Murchie, S. L.0000-0002-1616-8751
Madsen, M. B.0000-0001-8909-5111
McLennan, S. M.0000-0003-4259-7178
Additional Information:Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union. Received 12 May 2008; revised 1 July 2008; accepted 31 July 2008; published 6 November 2008. We thank the capable team of engineers and scientists who made the Spirit mission possible, and we thank NASA for its support of our endeavors and the HiRISE, CTX, and CRISM teams who worked to acquire, process, and release the orbital data used in this study. We also thank Bethany Ehlmann and Horton Newsom for thoughtful reviews. C. S. specifically acknowledges support by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the Johnson Space Center, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities through a contract with NASA.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Mars Exploration Rover, MER, Spirit
Issue or Number:E12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ARVjgre08
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Official Citation:Arvidson, R. E., et al. (2008), Spirit Mars Rover Mission to the Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater: Mission overview and selected results from the Cumberland Ridge to Home Plate, J. Geophys. Res., 113, E12S33, doi:10.1029/2008JE003183.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12882
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:08 Jan 2009 23:06
Last Modified:30 Nov 2022 01:16

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