Mars rover sets eyes on long-sought hills New Scientist

The Mars rover Spirit is now within a few hundred metres of the hills it has been trundling towards since March. Images of the Columbia hills suggest there may be outcrops of layered rock to examine, as well as many large boulders. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a close look at hills on Mars,” said James Rice, of Arizona State University, Tempe, and a member of the rovers’ science team. In 1997, the Mars Pathfinder rover landed about 1000 metres from hills, but did not go closer.