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Opportunity: longest-lived landed Mars mission

Emily Lakdawalla • May 19, 2010

Today is sol 2,246 of Opportunity's mission to Mars; as I write, it's just before 7:00 local solar time. If this sol passes, as her previous 2,245 have done, with Opportunity still alive and speaking to Earth, she will have surpassed a record set on November 12, 1982: Opportunity will pass Viking Lander 1 as the longest-lived landed Mars mission.

Solstice? What solstice?

Emily Lakdawalla • May 14, 2010

Thumbing her nose at this whole winter thing, Opportunity drove 20 meters yesterday, sol 2,240, on the winter solstice.

A Martian Moment in Time, revisited

Emily Lakdawalla • May 12, 2010

A good start to my day today: The New York Times' Lens Blog featured the "Martian Moment in Time" photo that Opportunity took last week in a really nice writeup. I'm so grateful, and still a little surprised, that the folks on the Mars Exploration Rover mission took this idea and ran with it!

A moment in time

Emily Lakdawalla • May 06, 2010

On Mars, at 15:00 local true solar time on May 2, a solitary rover gazed southward across her own dusty deck and snapped three photos, actually three sets of three photos, which were combined to make this view.

Space carnival, rover update, Planetary Radio Live!

Emily Lakdawalla • May 03, 2010

Just a linky post today, as I am nanny-less.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Snoozes Past Viking, Opportunity Snaps Endeavour on Horizon

A.J.S. Rayl • April 30, 2010

The Mars Exploration Rovers' fourth Martian winter is proving to be the harshest one yet and Spirit and Opportunity are getting colder than ever before. With temperatures on the Red Planet dropping in April and the Martian winter solstice still two weeks away, the season has turned into a shivering nail-biter.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Begins Hibernation Probably, Opportunity Roves On to Endeavour Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • March 31, 2010

March seems to have come in like a lamb and gone out like a lion on the Red Planet this year as the Mars Exploration Rovers trudged deeper into their fourth winter. While Opportunity finished up work at Concepcin Crater and shifted into gear back on the road to Endeavour Crater, Spirit finished up winter preparations and carried out a limited winter agenda before shifting, it appears, into hibernation mode.

Opportunity's at the twin craters

Emily Lakdawalla • March 27, 2010

Just a little update here to post a Navcam panorama from Opportunity showing that the rover successfully arrived yesterday at the doublet crater she's been aiming for since she left Concepcion a couple of weeks ago.

Opportunity at Concepción from orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • March 24, 2010

I saw this image at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference so am happy they released it: a view of Opportunity sitting on the north rim of the little, fresh Concepción crater, taken on sol 2153 (February 13, 2010).

LPSC, Day 3: Opportunity, and what the heck is Marquette?

Emily Lakdawalla • March 05, 2010

I wrote earlier about some results from Spirit reported at this year's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas; here are the rest of my notes on rover-related talks, from Opportunity's site on the opposite side of Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Parks for Winter, Opportunity Tastes Chocolate Hills

A.J.S. Rayl • February 28, 2010

As winter put the freeze on in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers slowed down a bit, but continued throughout February to demonstrate the mettle that made them famous: Spirit successfully drove backwards, parked in place for the season, then continued working, as Opportunity roved through rock debris on a cruise around the rim of Concepcin Crater.

Find pics and track the rovers in Google Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • February 11, 2010

I think a goodly proportion of you readers have already figured this out for yourselves since it was launched last March, but I didn't download and install it until last weekend, so this is new to me: Google Mars is awesome.

Pretty picture: Opportunity around Concepcion

Emily Lakdawalla • February 09, 2010

Here's a neat picture from Opportunity, a panorama composed of its wide-angle, mast-mounted Navcam cameras, showing the crater Concepcion.

Manic Monday: Chocolate Hills, Io, and NASA's budget

Emily Lakdawalla • February 08, 2010

Although I am not suffering under the "snowpocalypse" on the East Coast, I woke up to Monday absolutely buried under a massive pile of things to do for both home and work, and it looks like it's going to take me a few days to dig out. So, with apologies, I'm going to make today's post a linky one.

A pretty picture of Concepcion crater

Emily Lakdawalla • February 01, 2010

It looks like the rover team thinks Concepcion is pretty enough (in both aesthetic and a scientific senses) to be worthy of the full-color Pancam panorama treatment; color frames started arriving on Earth over the weekend.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Rovers Pass 6-Year Milestone as Spirit Halts Extrication to Winter at Troy, Opportunity Cruises to Concepcion Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2010

Five and a half years after they were supposed to be history, the Mars Exploration Rovers celebrated their sixth Earth year on the Red Planet with Opportunity pulling up to a fresh, new crater on the road to Endeavour, and Spirit working on repositioning itself to settle in for the coming Martian winter, and perhaps the rest of its mission.

Opportunity's thousand-year-old crater

Emily Lakdawalla • January 29, 2010

Since leaving Marquette Island on sol 2,122, Opportunity has been barreling southward on her journey toward Endeavour crater. On her horizon for the last several sols has been a very small but very fresh looking crater named Concepción.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Perseveres Struggles, Opportunity Digs in at Marquette Island -- And We Look Back on 2009

A.J.S. Rayl • December 31, 2009

The Mars Exploration Rovers quietly wrapped up 2009 this month: Spirit continued to valiantly spin its wheels in an attempt to get out of its embedded location on the west side of Home Plate in Gusev Crater; and Opportunity continued its investigation of Marquette Island, perhaps the oldest Martian rock it's found to date at Meridiani Planum.

Happy Christmas on Mars!

Emily Lakdawalla • December 24, 2009

This was so cute I had to repost it -- and record it too.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Turns Wheels, Opportunity Rests at Rare Martian Rock

A.J.S. Rayl • November 30, 2009

The Mars Exploration Rovers managed to make history and uncover history in November and that put both Spirit and Opportunity in the planetary exploration spotlight during the 71st month of an overland expedition that was supposed to be a three-month tour.

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