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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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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: As Mars Orbits Nearer to Earth, Spirit and Opportunity Rove Onward into New Territories

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/10/27 12:00 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rovers science team witnessed a bit of an expansion down here on Earth this month, while up on the Red Planet Spirit and Opportunity continued roving along. As Halloween nears, the twin robot geologists have put in another solid month's worth of work, overcoming every occasional "hiccup." At this point, as Mars' orbit brings it as close to Earth as it will get until the summer of 2018, both Spirit and Opportunity are moving into new territories at their respective inspection sites.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Revels in Science at Husband Hill Summit as Opportunity Closes in on Erebus Crater

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/09/22 12:00 CDT

Despite a few unexpected bumps and curves in their explorations at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers have been working away and both Spirit and Opportunity have put in a very productive month's worth of work on the Red Planet.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Returns (Most of) Panorama from Summit of Husband Hill

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/09/01 12:00 CDT

Spirit has returned enough pictures from the summit [summit #1] of Husband Hill for the Mars Exploration Team to have put together a 240-degree color panorama of her view, which they released at a news conference today, held at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. In coming days, the rover will return the rest of the images to complete the full, 360-degree, color panorama.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Rocks Independence as Opportunity Celebrates With Road Trip

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/06/30 12:00 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rovers are still going strong, and both robot field geologists will be working through the July 4th holiday.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves Out of Sand Dune as Spirit Uncovers Clues of Past Explosions

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/06/05 12:00 CDT

Nearly a year and a half after landing on the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are continuing to collect important science and impress the team with their resiliency.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Investigates New Outcrop Methuselah as Opportunity Roves into a Ripple and Gets Stuck

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/04/28 12:00 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rovers have both encountered some truly challenging obstacles in recent days, but have also presented the team with some surprises, and continue to be in overall good health some 16 months after bouncing to a landing, and more than a year after completing their primary missions.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit 'Snaps' Dust-Devils while Opportunity Roves on to Viking (the Crater)

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/03/25 11:00 CST

After more than a year of active-duty research, the Mars Exploration Rovers have caught 'second winds' -- in part because of their new, recently uploaded software and, in part -- however strange it may seem -- from the planet's notorious dust devils.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA/JPL Team Celebrates Rovers' First Year on Mars as Spirit and Opportunity Return

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2005/01/05 11:00 CST

As Spirit rang in her new year at Gusev Crater on Mars Monday, NASA officials and mission team members celebrated the Mars Exploration Rovers first anniversary at an event that featured a press conference, storytelling session, and birthday party at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit and Opportunity Celebrate Christmas by Working

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/12/21 11:00 CST

The Mars Exploration Rovers are trudging ever onward through the dead of winter on the Red Planet dreaming, perhaps, if robots dream, of a white Christmas. But Spirit and Opportunity are robots after all and come this weekend "the poor little rovers will have to keep working, even on Christmas," MER Project Scientist Joy Crisp, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), told The Planetary Society earlier today.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Climbs up Husband Hill as Opportunity Returns to Karatepe to Exit Endurance Crater

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/12/09 11:00 CST

The Mars Exploration Rovers are roving ever on into new territories and deeper into the history books as they close in on the end of one full Earth year of active duty at their respective sites on Red Planet.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Climbs toward Uchben Opportunity Picks up Power while at Wopmay

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/10/22 12:00 CDT

As winter gives way to spring on the Red Planet, the Mars Explorations Rovers are maintaining their 5-day a week work schedules and continuing to send surprises home to Earth. Despite a recurring 'ache' in one of her steering motors, Spirit is continuing her climb in the Columbia Hills toward a rock called Uchben, while her twin, Opportunity, is completing her work at Wopmay.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Rovers Expand the Water Story as Spirit Gets Back to Climbing and Opportunity Stops at Wopmay

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/10/08 12:00 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rovers are returning more and more evidence that there was liquid water on Mars at some point in the distant past, team members reported at a telecom news briefing yesterday.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Sits with Steering Glitch, Opportunity Makes Tracks Toward Burn's Cliff

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/10/06 12:00 CDT

The worst of the Martian winter is over for the Mars Exploration Rovers, but the robots' own dark days appear to be looming as Spirit hits a 'bump' that's kept her at a standstill for a week now.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit and Opportunity Roving Again as NASA Extends Tours of Duty

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/09/23 12:00 CDT

After nearly two weeks of sparse, infrequent communication, Spirit and Opportunity have survived winter solstice and resumed "reliable" contact with Earth and the Mars Exploration Rover team -- and NASA has extended funding for an additional six months of operations, as long as the little robot geologists keep working, space agency officials announced late Tuesday.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Roves onto "Best" of Martian Bedrock, Evidence of "Much More Water" as Opportunity Uncovers Bizarre Geologic 'Popcorn'

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/08/19 12:00 CDT

During the last four weeks, the Mars Exploration Rovers have braved the Martian winter to continue their geologic field work, sending home more evidence of past liquid water on the Red Planet and images of bizarre geologic formations the likes of which no one has seen before.

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