Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/07/31 12:00 CDT
It was to be a Martian summer to remember. Just one month ago, the Mars Exploration Rovers were set to embark on long-awaited adventures. At Meridiani Planum, Opportunity was preparing for its grand entrance into the magnificent Victoria Crater and on the other side of the planet Spirit was finally going to explore the top of Home Plate, an old, intriguing volcanic formation in the Gusev Crater area. Then a series of dust storms hit suddenly, it was a Martian summer to remember alright, but for far different, windswept reasons.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/07/23 05:04 CDT
Both Spirit and Opportunity are still suffering under incredibly dark skies, but, amazingly, they are both "power-positive," meaning that they are managing to produce enough power from the limited amount of sunlight to keep the batteries fully charged.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/07/10 11:09 CDT
Opportunity has ceased operations for a couple of days because the amount of sunlight available is low due to an unpredicted dust storm.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/06/30 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) spent the month of June finishing work and clearing their agendas at their respective locales at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in preparation for highly anticipated new assignments in July.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/06/12 06:01 CDT
Today, New Scientist and researcher Ron Levin retracted the "puddles on Mars" claim in the face of evidence that the "puddles" were on sloping surfaces. I've updated my original blog entry in response to the claim to that effect.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/05/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers sent home field reports this past month -- some 1,200 days into their missions -- that drew gasps of amazement from both the science and engineering teams.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/04/30 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) traveled to new targets and made discoveries ranging from the magnificent to the mundane in April, four fast weeks that essentially led both of the twin robot field geologists to the next phase of their explorations.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/03/31 12:00 CDT
It's been business as usual on the Red Planet this month as the Mars Exploration Rovers investigated new areas on their ever-moving missions to explore Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. Both Spirit and Opportunity chalked up yet another productive month of field geology as they roved onward in their fourth year on location, checking out more of the local environs some 149,597,900 kilometers (93 million miles) away on Earthlings' favored other planet.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/02/28 11:00 CST
Dust storms are beginning to whirl around Mars as spring blooms in the southern hemisphere of the planet and along the equator where the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) are roving into their fourth year with a second banner month of exploration.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2007/01/31 11:00 CST
The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) celebrated their 3rd anniversary this month and are now roving into their fourth year of exploration on the Red Planet.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/12/31 11:00 CST
Defying all the odds, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) are wrapping up 2006 in new locations and roving into their fourth Earth year of exploring the Red Planet. Spirit is slated to celebrate the milestone on January 3, 2007 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), with Opportunity marking the milestone just 3 weeks later, on January 24, 2007.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/11/30 11:00 CST
With both a superior conjunction and a long, Martian winter behind them, the Mars Exploration Rovers picked up the pace in November and drove on to new locations and research.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/10/30 11:00 CST
The Mars Exploration Rovers managed to log another couple of significant milestones this month even as they worked in place, on autopilot, for the last two weeks during superior conjunction, the period that occurs every 2 years when Earth and Mars orbit into positions on opposite sides of the Sun, obscured from each other. With the conjunction now over, the rovers are slated to be back in command operation by tomorrow, All Hallow's Eve or, more popularly, Halloween.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/09/29 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers are reaching new milestones and gaining newfound energy as winter slowly begins to pass on the Red Planet. Once again, Opportunity commanded the spotlight as it pulled up to the rim of the massive Victoria crater this week and began returning images that may redefine the word spellbinding. Twin sister, Spirit, meanwhile, is resigned to stay in its northward-tilted position for another month looking at the same scenery in order to collect the maximum energy supply for its solar panels.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/08/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers, which bounced to landings in January 2004 with 90-day warranties, have survived their second winter solstice on the Red Planet and are still going strong more than two and a half years after landing.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/07/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are working right through the depths of the winter at their respective locations in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. Although the twin robot field geologists are putting in short days and taking quality time to recharge, they still have team members marveling over their latest Martian finds.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/06/30 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are wheel deep in winter, and still faring well, working hard, and sending home interesting new finds despite the below freezing Martian temperatures. The next month or so will bring the season's coldest temperatures to the rover's present habitats, but so far, no one on the team is losing any sleep over whether or not they'll make it through, because these rovers just keep going and going . . .
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/05/31 12:00 CDT
The Mars Exploration Rovers are now well into their second Martian winter and, all things considered, both Spirit and Opportunity are faring pretty well for being, essentially, aging Baby Boomers on bitter cold, dusty alien planet some 50 million miles away from home.