Columbia Hills (Mars)

The view of Columbia Hills from the Spirit landing site

The Columbia Hills are a range of low hills inside Gusev crater on Mars. They were observed by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit when it landed within the crater in 2004. They were promptly given an unofficial name by NASA since they were the most striking nearby feature on the surface. The hills lie approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away from the rover's original landing position. The range is named to memorialize the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. On February 2, 2004, the individual peaks of the Columbia Hills were named after the seven astronauts who died in the disaster. Spirit spent a few years exploring the Columbia Hills until it ceased to function in 2010. It was also considered a potential landing site for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover,[1] before the selection of Jezero crater in November 2018.[2]

  1. ^ "Scientists Shortlist Three Landing Sites for Mars 2020". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  2. ^ Chang, Kenneth (19 November 2018). "NASA Mars 2020 Rover Gets a Landing Site: A Crater That Contained a Lake - The rover will search the Jezero Crater and delta for the chemical building blocks of life and other signs of past microbes". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 December 2018.