Astrogeology Science Center

Enhanced-color, 360-degree
Enhanced-color, 360-degree

The USGS participated in the Mars Pathfinder Mission through the efforts of Dr. Laurence Soderblom, who was a Co-Investigator on the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera carried by the spacecraft. In addition to Soderblom, four other Astrogeology scientists were at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the prime mission (July 1997) to provide intensive support: Dr. A. Wesley Ward, Jr. (Astrogeology Team Chief Scientist), Dr. Randolph L. Kirk, Elpitha Howington-Kraus, and Dr. Jeffrey Johnson (Eugene M. Shoemaker Fellow in Astrogeology). Cartographic and image-processing support was also provided by a large number of USGS staff members working in Flagstaff, Arizona. The USGS was involved in most aspects of the mission: pre-mission mapping of the landing site using Viking Orbiter images; detailed site mapping with images from the IMP camera; scientific analysis of the IMP data; and design of special image sequences to elucidate particular aspects of the landing site geology.