The tiny rover Sojourner was attached inside one of the petals. At just two feet long, a foot and a half wide, a foot high, and weighing just 23 pounds, the little rover carried a lot of hope. It was the first time a robotic rover would travel around the surface of another planet, and engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory were anxious to prove that rovers were a viable technology for planetary exploration.
As a proof of concept rover, Sojourner's science payload was limited: it carried an alpha proton x-ray spectrometer and three cameras.
But for Sojourner to do any science, the team behind the rover would have to get it down to the surface. Mission scientists had to engineer a path for Sojourner.
The basic idea was to put two ramps on the petal, one fore and one aft of the rover so it would have two options to drive down. The ramps were made of a lightweight open weave Kevlar mesh to keep any stray airbag fabric from snagging the rover's wheels and strengthened with stainless steel battens. Two steel tracks on either side of the ramp's surface guided the rover on its drive.