ROCK FESTIVAL ON MARS

IN ITS FIRST FULL WEEK, PATHFINDER DELIVERS CUTE NICKNAMES, MONSTER PANS AND AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL CRASH

Barnacle Bill. Yogi. Casper. Scooby Doo. Flat Top, Boo-Boo. The Couch. Souffle. After billions of years of anonymity, a motley collection of rocks on the Martian flood plain called Ares Vallis at last had names of their own. And back on Earth last week, the Pathfinder scientists who had playfully nicknamed the rocks were enjoying, as one of them phrased it, "a rock festival," reveling in the torrent of data being yielded by the rock stars and their surroundings.

Indeed, after only a week on the surface of Mars, Pathfinder had conducted dozens of worthy science experiments, had begun to challenge...

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