The Mars Exploration Rovers hunkered down in place in August and delivered more mission "gold" as they achieved new milestones and uncovered more scientific gems, not the least of which was a blockbuster of a meteorite. But August proved to be a stormy month, uniquely challenging and one that many on the Mars Exploration Team will never forget.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/08/12 12:59 CDT
Today the HiRISE team released a lovely new view of Victoria crater, taken nearly a year after the Opportunity rover departed it.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/07/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers maintained a busy schedule in July: Spirit worked day and night doing whatever it could to make use of its abundant energy; Opportunity effectively treated its “hot” right front wheel and got back to making some consecutive long drives toward the still distant Endeavour Crater.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/06/30 12:00 CDT
It's been a relatively quiet but scientifically significant month on the Red Planet for the Mars Exploration Rovers. While Opportunity continued its long journey to Endeavour Crater, forced to take it slower and make longer stops to rest its 'hot' front wheel, Spirit, seemingly just biding its time embedded in a sand pit it slipped into in April, turned up one of the most intriguing discoveries on the mission to date.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/05/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers hit some rough patches in May as Spirit sat stuck in a sand patch all month and Opportunity had to stop again to rest its right front wheel but with a little help from Mars, the intrepid, twin robot field geologists cruised through the summer solstice with the energy and invincibility of a couple of teenage robots.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/04/30 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers challenged their ground crews with an April full of high drama, a little suspense, and a lot of energy. While Spirit lived through a kind of robot soap opera, complete with bewildering reboots and bouts of amnesia, Opportunity roved forward and back into the fast lane on a restored front wheel, slowing down for a brief visit to a series of small, intriguing craters and an unplanned close encounter with a pesky little purgatoid.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/03/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers logged a memorable March, with Spirit finally making some serious tracks and setting a new driving record for a five-wheeled rover, and Opportunity getting a first glimpse on the distant horizon of its next big attraction, Endeavour Crater as it crossed a geologic boundary into a new field of "blueberries."
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/02/28 11:00 CST
Despite some struggles with terrain and technology, the Mars Exploration Rovers moved their missions forward in February, as Spirit and Opportunity pressed on toward their next major Martian attractions.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2009/01/31 11:00 CST
The Mars Exploration Rover mission crossed the finish line of another major milestone this month, marking its fifth anniversary of exploring the Red Planet. As team members celebrated and shared stories in events all around Los Angeles, Spirit and Opportunity kept on roving, bucking up under the inevitable pains of growing older. They're heading now for their next major destinations.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/24 10:33 CST
Next in The Planetary Society's 365 Days of Astronomy doubleheader is Planetary Society President Jim Bell, whose show, airing today, is on "Five Years of Living Vicariously on Mars."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/14 05:49 CST
Tonight at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, Jim Bell and Bill Nye will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the landing of the rovers; Jim will be showing lots of pretty 3D pictures.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/01/06 11:57 CST
Scott Maxwell is one of those many guys (and gals) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who rarely gets his name in the news but who is absolutely indispensable to the success of a space mission. I don't know what his official title is, but whatever it is, it's not as good as the colloquial name given to his position: Rover Driver.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2008/12/31 11:00 CST
As 2008 fades to the pages of history, Spirit and Opportunity are closing in on the end of their fifth year of exploration on the Red Planet and moving the Mars Exploration Rover mission forward into a new year of bold scientific objectives.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2008/12/29 05:03 CST
We're getting close to the fifth anniversary of the landings of Spirit and Opportunity, but was we approach that milestone, we're passing another. I've been told that as of yesterday, Spirit and Opportunity have operated on Mars for a combined length of time that is longer than the combined number of sols that the twin Viking landers operated.