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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Homes in on Mitcheltree Ridge, Opportunity Crosses Valley Without Peril

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Gets Back Home (To Where It Once Belonged), Opportunity Completes 10K at Victoria's Rim

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.

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New Horizons update and a website roundup

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2007/02/03 07:33 CST

I've just posted a very detailed timeline of New Horizons' encounter with Jupiter -- take a look!

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Survives Dust Storm and Studies Troll, Opportunity "Sails" from Bay of Toil to Cape Desire

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit and Opportunity Smarten Up for Year 4 on Mars

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Moves to New Targets, Opportunity "Sails On" Around Victoria's Rim

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: New Milestones Set as Spirit Celebrates 1000 Sols, Opportunity Digs Victoria with a Little Help from a Friend

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Perseveres, Opportunity Arrives at Victoria Crater

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Waits to Bust a Move, Opportunity on Final Leg to Victoria Crater

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Completes Mission's Grandest Panorama, Opportunity Approaches Beagle Crater

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.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Discovers More Meteorites as Opportunity Closes in

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 . . .

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Works Winter Campaign as Opportunity Roves Adrift on way to Victoria

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.

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New items on the website: Rover update and Stardust@home

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2006/05/01 06:54 CDT

I just wanted to point out a couple of new items on the website.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Pulls up to Winter Home as Opportunity Races to Victoria

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/04/28 12:00 CDT

Two years and 3 months after they bounced to landings at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers are heading into their second, long cold Martian winter.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Makes Tracks for McCool Hill as Opportunity Roves to Victoria

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/03/31 11:00 CST

As autumn falls toward winter on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move again. Although the twin robot field geologists are roving as quickly as possible to their next major destinations, the pace is slowing down.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Slides into Home Plate as Opportunity Finishes Work at Erebus

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/02/28 11:00 CST

As early autumn descends on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move and picking up the pace as they rove toward their next major destinations.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Heads to Home Plate as Opportunity Finally Roves On

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2006/01/31 11:00 CST

As the Mars Exploration Rover mission presses onward into its third Earth year -- and second Mars year -- the twin robot field geologists are moving to new destinations.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Descends Husband Hill as Opportunity Works at a Standstill on Olympia

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/12/30 11:00 CST

The Mars Exploration Rovers have each completed their first Mars Year (687 Earth days) and are close to completing their second Earth year exploring their respective sites on the Red Planet. With both Spirit and Opportunity finding new variations of bedrock in the areas they are exploring, the mission is continuing to send the team holiday gifts in the form of intriguing discoveries.

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A debate in Meridiani Planum

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/12/24 08:30 CST

There was a big news splash about two articles that appeared in Nature about Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site. The articles suggest two theories for the formation of the layered sulfur-rich deposits at Meridiani Planum that do not involve standing liquid water.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Achieves Martian Year Milestone while Opportunity Reveals Harsh Challenges for Past Martian Life

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/11/30 11:00 CST

In its orbit around the Sun, the Red Planet has been returning to where it was when the Mars Exploration Rovers first landed back in January 2004, and, as the twin robot field geologists are marking the milestone of their first Martian year -- equivalent to almost two Earth years -- fireworks are flashing all around the planet. Although the cause of the fireworks is actually debris from Halley's comet, through which Mars is currently passing, the timing seems so metaphorically appropriate.

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