The new Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted about a dozen spacecraft on the Martian surface and, incredibly, taken pictures of such sharpness that scientists have been able to identify individual rocks that were first photographed by the Viking landers in 1976.
The new series of pictures released late on Monday show both of the Viking landers, never spotted from orbit before, as well as their nearby heat shields and backshells. These are the top and bottom covers of the capsules in which the rovers decended through the Martian atmosphere to land.
The MRO has also found the Mars rover Spirit , the pyramid-shaped structure in which it landed, its backshell and parachute. The satellite probe had already found the rover Opportunity and its landing structure, sending back images within its first week of operations in October 2006.
MO noted the shots of Opportunity in the October 6th Friday Linkzookery.
Here’s the shot of the Viking 2 Lander:
Okay, so it isn’t a lot to look at. But remember that this was taken from Mars orbit. Very cool. More pics of more spacecraft on NASA’s MRO page.
The fact that NASA hasn’t done this in Lunar orbit pretty much proves that the moon landing were faked. (Okay, Murdoc’s joking on that one…)