This image shows the Mars Pathfinder lander and Rover.
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An Overview of the Mars Pathfinder Mission
The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) mission was sent to investigate the geology of Mars. Its principal objective was to analyze the rocks
of Mars. The MPF consisted of 2 components, a lander and a mobile rover called "Sojourner" which could roam the surface.
In its study of the Martian terrain near the landing site, Pathfinder found sand dunes, pebbles and cobbles, wind drifts, and other evidences of a changing surface.
MPF also had the chance to explore Martian weather.
There was great excitement when Pathfinder landed on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997. That excitement continued throughout the mission as the Rover was highly successful in exploring the geology of Mars. NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission was last heard from on September 27, 1997. It did operate on the surface of Mars three times longer than expected! Overall, the Pathfinder mission handed scientists a wealth of new knowledge about erosion processes and the surface geology of Mars.
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