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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.

Opportunity's poking at Marquette Island; Cassini's catching dancing moons

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2009

Since tomorrow's class is going to be on playing with raw images from the rovers and Cassini, I've been playing with recent raw images from the rovers and Cassini! I just thought I'd share a couple of the fun items I've been working with.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Begins Extraction Process

A.J.S. Rayl • November 12, 2009

On Monday, November 16, 2009, Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will begin the much-anticipated, weeks-long process of extricating itself from a patch of powdery soil that stopped it in its tracks six months ago. It will begin by driving forward to the north, following its tracks out, even though its right front wheel is broken and immobilized.

Planetary Radio Q and A: Are meteorites on Mars actually interesting?

Emily Lakdawalla • November 09, 2009

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been studying a lot of meteorites. That made me wonder, why study meteorites on Mars when we can study them in hand on Earth? How are Mars meteorites interesting?

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Overcomes Setbacks and Waits for Extraction Orders, Opportunity Takes a Magical Meteorite Tour

A.J.S. Rayl • October 31, 2009

The Mars Exploration Rover mission logged another textbook-rewriting month in October 2009 with more discoveries of geologic gems, new robot achievements balanced with equal amounts of challenges and frustrations overcome, topped off with special honors.

Opportunity's world of dunes and rock

Emily Lakdawalla • October 16, 2009

Opportunity's been making tracks lately, with brief stops to check out a couple of meteorites. I thought this view of its surroundings on sol 2,034 (a couple of days ago) was neat.

It would appear that Opportunity has stumbled upon another meteorite

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2009

I wonder if this came from the same original body as Block Island, or if Meridiani is the kind of slowly deflating landscape that accumulates meteorites at its surface, like the ANSMET meteorite hunting spots in Antarctica?

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Embedded Spirit Waits Exit Approval, Opportunity Celebrates New Mars Year with New Record

A.J.S. Rayl • September 30, 2009

From notable achievements and new discoveries to trials and tribulations and harbingers of hope, the Mars Exploration Rovers seemed to experience the gamut on the Red Planet this September, their 69th month on an expedition that originally set out back in 2004 for a three-month tour.

Opportunity on the move

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2009

Opportunity rover is driving, driving, driving. It departed the meteorite named Block Island on sol 2,004 and has routinely clocked 70 meters per driving day (with drives every other day).

Opportunity's highway, and a tour of Block Island

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2009

Just a cool image to start the morning: after a 70-meter drive yesterday, Opportunity's following not one but two sets of its own tracks.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Celebrates 3 Martian Years, Opportunity Finds Blockbuster in Block Island

A.J.S. Rayl • August 31, 2009

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.

New image of Opportunity on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 14, 2009

I really can't explain why it didn't occur to me to search for the rover in the image of Victoria crater released by the HiRISE team on Wednesday.

Mars eye candy: New oblique view of Victoria crater

Emily Lakdawalla • August 12, 2009

Today the HiRISE team released a lovely new view of Victoria crater, taken nearly a year after the Opportunity rover departed it.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Works as Team Tests Exit Moves, Opportunity Roves to Block Island

A.J.S. Rayl • July 31, 2009

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Embedded in Paydirt, Opportunity Roving on 'Hot' Wheel

A.J.S. Rayl • June 30, 2009

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Sand Snared and Dusted, Opportunity Rests and Roves

A.J.S. Rayl • May 31, 2009

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Endures Reboots and Amnesia, Opportunity Races Forward

A.J.S. Rayl • April 30, 2009

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Breaks Rove Record, Opportunity Sees Endeavour's Distant Rim

A.J.S. Rayl • March 31, 2009

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."

Planetary Surface Processes Field Trip: Day 6

Ryan Anderson • March 20, 2009

Today we visited Grand Falls and the nearby dune field. Grand Falls is especially interesting because it combines many of the processes that are active in shaping planetary surfaces.

What are the rovers up to?

Emily Lakdawalla • March 05, 2009

As usual, troubled Spirit's progress sometimes amounts to only centimeters, while golden child Opportunity has already clocked four kilometers on its trek toward Endeavour.

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