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Is Opportunity near Lunokhod's distance record? Not as close as we used to think!

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2013

A few weeks ago, a press release from the Opportunity mission celebrated Opportunity's surpassing of the previous NASA off-world driving record. That record was set in December 1972 by the Apollo 17 astronauts aboard their Lunar Roving Vehicle. They seem very close to Lunokhod 2's stated 37-kilometer driving record, but hold your horses -- we now know Lunokhod went longer than we thought.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Cape York, Breaks Apollo Record

A.J.S. Rayl • June 05, 2013

It was a merry and mighty month of May for the Mars Exploration Rover mission: Opportunity finished a blockbuster study of Matijevic Hill finding the best evidence yet for an ancient, potentially habitable environment, and then embarked on its first real road trip in two years. The robot field geologist had barely gotten underway on its journey when it surpassed the Apollo 17 lunar rover distance record to become the most traveled NASA vehicle on another planetary body.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: Opportunity's Findings at Endeavour, So Far

A.J.S. Rayl • May 25, 2013

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Cape York on May 14th and embarked on a 2-kilometer journey south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is heading now to Solander Point, where it will spend the coming Martian winter.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3317- May 24, 2013

Larry Crumpler • May 24, 2013

Opportunity finally started driving south from its location on the outcrop where it had been since solar conjunction.

Opportunity and Curiosity updates: Rolling and drilling and a little wear on the wheels

Emily Lakdawalla • May 20, 2013

For most of April, while Mars scuttled behind the Sun as seen from Earth, both Mars rovers were pretty inactive. Now that conjunction has ended, both are doing what rovers should be doing: roving and exploring. As of sol 3312 Opportunity had moved more than 300 meters southward toward Solander Point, while on her sol 279 Curiosity drilled at a second site, Cumberland.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3310- May 17, 2013

Larry Crumpler • May 17, 2013

Opportunity has finally completed the detailed survey of the outcrops on the Cape York segment of the rim of the 22-km diameter Endeavour crater.

Planetary Society Hangout: A Day in the Life of the Opportunity Rover with Emily Dean

Casey Dreier • May 09, 2013

Thursday, May 9th, at noon PDT/3pm EDT/1900h UTC, we are joined by Emily Dean, who works on the camera team for the Opportunity rover on Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Emerges from Solar Conjunction to Wrap-Up Work on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • May 02, 2013

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team waited out solar conjunction, Opportunity spent most of April atop the western rim of Endeavour Crater, conducting a chemical analysis of an ancient waterborne vein on Matijevic Hill. It was by the book until the last week of the month when the robot field geologist suffered an electronic "hiccup" known as a warm re-boot, and went into auto mode, a kind of safe mode when something doesn't go right.

No Place Like Home

Bill Dunford • April 21, 2013

Mars and Earth share a truly striking family resemblance, but there's no mistaking which one is home.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Hunkers Down for Solar Conjunction, Final Science on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • April 02, 2013

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission trekked further into its tenth year of exploring the Red Planet, Opportunity spent the month of March finishing up its science investigations on Matijevic Hill.

Field Report From Mars: Sols 3237-3262 - March 4–29, 2013

Larry Crumpler • March 29, 2013

Flash memory or computer problems oddly occurred on both Curiosity and Opportunity around Feb 27. One possibility is that a large solar flare resulted in radiation at Mars sufficient to temporarily corrupt the memory on both rovers.

LPSC 2013: Sedimentary stratigraphy with Curiosity and Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • March 20, 2013

A mind-boggling quantity of information is being presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. In my first report from the meeting, I try to make sense of the Curiosity and Opportunity sessions.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Wrapping Science on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • March 06, 2013

As February turned to March, Opportunity was conducting some of its final science investigations on Matijevic Hill, the MER team was making preparations for the robot field geologist's trek south for the next winter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission was checking off another month of exploration.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3220-3236 - March 1, 2013

Larry Crumpler • March 01, 2013

Opportunity completed the observations of the outcrop noted in the previous report and has now moved back down slope.

Webcast Tonight! Planetary Scientist and Society President Jim Bell

Mat Kaplan • February 20, 2013

Professor Bell's topic is "Exploring Mars, the Moon, Asteroids, and Comets with Rovers and Landers," and there is no one better to talk about this subject.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3215-3219 - February 6-13, 2013

Larry Crumpler • February 13, 2013

We have been seeing lots of small light-colored veins crossing through the outcrops here on Matijevic Hill, and we have tried to get a handle on the composition of these veins by doing multiple offsets with the APXS. It appears that the small veins are calcium sulfate, as best we can determine.

Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Quietly Completes 9 Years Uncovering More Evidence of Water

A.J.S. Rayl • February 06, 2013

With its robot nose to the Martian grindstone, Opportunity completed its ninth year of working on Mars in January, making another significant science discovery in tiny white veins on Matijevic Hill as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission rolled on into Year 10.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 3182-3188 - January 6-11, 2013

Larry Crumpler • January 11, 2013

We finished up with examination of the big outcrop ("Copper Cliff") and moved to the next target over the weekend. With that drive Opportunity completed the loop around Matijevic Hill and is now back where it started on the big loop to examine the outcrops.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Zeroes In on Clay Minerals and We Look Back on 2012

A.J.S. Rayl • January 08, 2013

Despite the lull of the holidays, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission recorded one of the expedition's best months ever in December as Opportunity and her team confirmed the location of the smectite clay minerals on Matijevic Hill, effectively grabbing the scientific brass ring they came hoping to find at Endeavour Crater.

Looking ahead to spacecraft activities in 2013

Emily Lakdawalla • January 04, 2013

2013 is going to be a busy year in space exploration. Two missions launch to the Moon (LADEE and Chang'E 3), and another two to Mars (MAVEN and India's mission). Curiosity should drive to the Mountain, and Opportunity to the next site on Endeavour's rim. Cassini will be seeing rings and Titan. Others should continue routine operations, except maybe MESSENGER, whose fate after March is not yet decided.

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