Top of the Martian hill

NASA’s rover Spirit recorded this 240° Martian panorama late last month after the vehicle completed a 14-month climb up Husband Hill, named after Commander Rick Husband, who was killed in the Columbia shuttle accident. Located about 3 kilometers east of the craft’s landing site in Gusev crater, the hill rises 82 meters above the surrounding plains and provides a view of several routes to Spirit’s next major destination—a long, distant basin (between arrows) that appears in magnified images to have layered ledges of rock.

JPL/NASA, Cornell

During its ascent (tracks at right) of Husband Hill (SN: 5/28/05, p. 344: Roving on the Red Planet), Spirit captured close-up images of similar ledges, which appear to have been altered by liquid water. NASA released the panorama on Sept. 1. Two of the six other hills named after Columbia crewmembers are visible on the horizon (left of center). For a more detailed view, see

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