By Mutch, Thomas A
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Figures 42 and 43 show the same scene under different lighting conditions: afternoon backlighting in Figures 44 and 45 show the same scene with low and high Sun illumination. The large block in the upper center, like many other blocks throughout the scene, appears to be coarsely granular. This type of block may be derived from igneous rock that crystallized at shallow depth within the crust where cooling rates were slow enough to allow growth of large crystals. The pitted appearance is a result of preferential erosion around these grains by wind blown dust.
As some of us had expected, the burdensome series of meetings and time consuming cross checks could be abbreviated. With the feasibility of late commands verified by these Lander health pictures, it was relatively easy to persuade managers that the same techniques could be used to update science sequences. Pictures were required not only to certify the condition of the Lander; they were also necessary to document each sample sequence. First the candidate area had to be stereoscopically imaged to locate rocks and slopes that might endanger the sampler arm.
On September 3. Minutes later, telemetered data from the Lander to Orbiter abruptly stopped. The cause was uncertain, but the prospects looked dim. It was difficult to imagine that a serious communication failure essentially at the time of separation was not the expression of a more fundamental problem. Had the Lander incorrectly separated? Was it perhaps still dangling from the Orbiter? Was it hurtling toward Mars, out of control? 36 NASA SP-425 — The Martian Landscape Within the hour it was demonstrated that the Orbiter had rolled so that its high gain antenna pointed away from Earth.
The Martian landscape by Mutch, Thomas A