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The spacecraft passed through the atmosphere.


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Spacecraft atmosphere.
The spacecraft passed through the atmosphere.

Success! Spirit Lands Safely on Mars.

NASA controllers confirmed that the Spirit rover successfully landed on Mars today. The spacecraft passed through the atmosphere, deployed its parachute, fired its retrorockets, and then bounced along the Martian surface protected by airbags - its landing time was January 4 at 0435 UTC (11:35 pm EST January 3). Pictures from the Martian surface are expected soon. Spirit will spend at least 90 days travelling around the surface of Mars, searching for evidence of past water with several scientific instruments. The next rover, Opportunity, is expected to land on January 24.

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