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OPPORTUNITY: 14 Years On Mars

27 Jan 2018, 15:24 UTC
OPPORTUNITY: 14 Years On Mars
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Apologies for not writing this important post on the actual anniversary of Opportunity’s landing, but I’ve recently had knee surgery and the laptop was just too heavy to put on my lap. Much better now tho, so time to catch up…

Three days ago, with no fanfare whatsoever from NASA, and only passing mentions from the highest profile members of the “space community”, the Mars Exploration Rover OPPORTUNITY reached a historic and magnificent anniversary: it is now 14 years since she arrived on Mars, making that amazing “cosmic hole in one” golf shot landing in tiny Eagle Crater. I think most people with even a passing interest in space exploration now know that the hope was that the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (or “MERs”), Spirit and Opportunity, would survive for at least 90 days on Mars after landing, and might drive as far as a kilometre across the surface of Mars before they conked out.
Of course, its now recorded in the history books that both rovers reached those targets and rolled right past them. Sadly, Spirit, the first of the pair to land, froze to death in 2010 after getting stuck in a dust-filled crater in the shadow of ...

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