Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy belated birthday, Spirit and Opportunity

Opportunity looking back on how far it's gone in its long 12km trek to Endeavor crater (not shown). If all goes well, Opportunity will probably make it to Endeavor in about a year or so.

The Mars rovers Spirit celebrated its fifth year on Mars on Jan. 3/08. Opportunity landed a few weeks later. Although Opportunity has one seized up wheel and has to drive backwards while Spirit constantly struggles with its dust coated solar panels, they both continue to operate and continue to collect scientific data. Their greatest achievement to date is collecting the evidence to confirm that Mars was once coated with large quantities of water in the past. As of Jan. 3/08, Spirit has been on Mars 1333 sols (Martian days) and Opportunity has been on Mars 1313 sols. Keep up to date on what Spirit and Opportunity are doing at the Mars Exploration Rover Mission website.

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