MARS ROVERS SPIRIT & OPPORTUNITY CELEBRATE 10 YEARS ON MARS.

MARS ROVERS SPIRIT & OPPORTUNITY CELEBRATE 10 YEARS ON MARS.

MARS ROVERS SPIRIT & OPPORTUNITY CELEBRATE 10 YEARS ON MARS.

Photo credit: NASA JPL and MER-B Opportunity. CLICK photo for larger image and see below for links and info.

She’s dirty, beaten up and worn down but Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity lives to see her 10th anniversary on the Red Planet!

When MER-A Spirit bounced down on the Red Planet on January 4, 2004 at 0435 UTC, its twin MER-B Opportunity wasn’t far behind as it bounced down on the Martian surface on January 25, 2004. That makes today the official 10 year anniversary of both Spirit and Opportunity being on Mars.
Spirit officially died on March 22, 2010 after being stuck in sand and subjected to the few hundred degree below zero Martian winter.  With no way to get sunlight to its solar panels to keep key components functioning, Spirit froze to death.  However, both rovers have FAR exceeded their 90 sol (92 Earth day) mission……I’d say!
Through their decade on Mars they’ve seen and experienced a lot and much of what they’ve accomplished has completely changed the way we view Mars present and past. Here are a few neat data points about the missions.

Mars Exploration Rover-A (MER-A) Spirit:
Launched: June 10, 2003 on a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral SLC-17A.
Landed: January 4, 2004 at 0435 UTC in Gusev Crater.
Power Source: Solar panels.
Embedding (stuck in the soil): May 1, 2009.
Last Contact: March 22, 2010.
Planned Mission Duration: 90 sol’s (92 Earth days).
Actual Duration: 2623 sol’s (2695 Earth days).
Distance Covered: 4.8 miles (7.73 km).
Spirit Rover’s lander was renamed Columbia Memorial Station to honor STS-107 Columbia and her crew. Spirit herself carries with it a plaque dedicated to STS-107. It also named distant hills “Columbia Hills” with each of the seven peaks named after one of STS-107’s crew. Spirit also named a complex of three hills the “Apollo-1 Hills”.

Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B) Opportunity:
Launched: July 7, 2003 on a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral SLC-17B.
Landed: January 25, 2004 at 0505 UTC in Eagle Crater in Meridiani Planum.
Power Source: Solar panels.
Current Status: Operational
Planned Mission Duration: 90 sol’s (92 Earth days).
Actual Duration: 3555 sol’s (3653 Earth days).
Distance Covered: 24.7 miles (39.7 km).
Opportunity Rover’s lander was renamed Challenger Memorial Station to honor STS-51-L Challenger and her crew.

NASA JPL Mars Expedition Rover homepage: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/home/index.html

2014 press release: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20140123a.html

MER-B Opportunity images: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20140123a.html

MER-A Spirit images: http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/

The Planetary Society MER-B Opportunity photo collection: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/mars/?keywords=opportunity

The Planetary Society MER-A Spirit Rover photo collection: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/mars/?keywords=spirit

10 YEARS ON MARS: NASA/JPL VIDEO:

10 YEARS ON MARS NASA/JPL: 1hr 30min celebration that was streamed live on January 16:

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2 Responses to MARS ROVERS SPIRIT & OPPORTUNITY CELEBRATE 10 YEARS ON MARS.

  1. Pingback: Загадки Марса | PVO Blog

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