Special Research Articles

The Spirit Rover's Athena Science Investigation at Gusev Crater, Mars

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Science  06 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5685, pp. 794-799
DOI: 10.1126/science.3050794

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The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and its Athena science payload have been used to investigate a landing site in Gusev crater. Gusev is hypothesized to be the site of a former lake, but no clear evidence for lacustrine sedimentation has been found to date. Instead, the dominant lithology is basalt, and the dominant geologic processes are impact events and eolian transport. Many rocks exhibit coatings and other characteristics that may be evidence for minor aqueous alteration. Any lacustrine sediments that may exist at this location within Gusev apparently have been buried by lavas that have undergone subsequent impact disruption.

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