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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins to Wrap Winter Science, Mission Celebrates Month 100

A.J.S. Rayl • May 03, 2012

As winter began to retreat in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, Opportunity was commanded to finish up her science assignments in April in preparation for leaving its refuge, and the Mars Exploration Rover mission rolled through its 100th month of exploration.

An update on Opportunity, and a plea for some volunteer desktop publishing help

Emily Lakdawalla • April 03, 2012

A. J. S. Rayl has just posted her monthly update on the goings-on at Meridiani planum, noting that the update recaps the 99th month of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. There's a lot of detail on how the radio-tracking campaign is going. While she's not driving, Opportunity's acting like a lander, with radio antennas on Earth performing Doppler tracking to allow very fine measurement of Mars' orbital motion.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Gets Energy Boost and Works Through Depths of Winter

A.J.S. Rayl • March 31, 2012

March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb at Meridiani Planum, Mars: Opportunity felt the cold wind on her solar panels, then "settled" in a little more, working through the depths of its fifth Martian winter, as the team honored one of its own up there, and the Mars Exploration Rover mission logged month number 99 of exploration.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Turns On, Tunes In, and Drops Panoramic Postcard to Earth

A.J.S. Rayl • February 29, 2012

There's no hail or snow or sleet, though it is the depth of winter at Meridiani Planum and a cold unimaginable to us has gripped the landscape.

Pretty picture: A sunset postcard and a special shadow from Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • February 21, 2012

It took Don Davis many hours of meticulous labor to assemble this beautiful postcard from Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Celebrates 8, Keeps on Rockin' into Year 9

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2012

As Opportunity worked away on its winter science campaign, the Mars Exploration Rover mission quietly completed its eighth Earth year of exploring the surface of the Red Planet last week, and is now roving on into Year 9 of its 90-day mission.

Dusty girl

Emily Lakdawalla • January 23, 2012

Today Opportunity sent back to Earth the last few frames of the "deck pan" self-portrait she took during the waning days of 2011. Her solar panels are very dusty, which isn't helpful. It's near winter solstice in her southern location on Mars, so the angled Sun is not providing as much power as it would in a different season.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update:Opportunity Climbs to Greeley Haven for Winter, and We Look Back at 2011

A.J.S. Rayl • December 31, 2011

As New Year's Eve moved from time zone to time zone across planet Earth, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team looked to 2012 and wrapping its eighth Earth year of exploring, while up on the Red Planet Opportunity settled into the "saddle" at Greeley Haven preparing for the onslaught of its fifth Martian winter.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: Opportunity Finds Best Evidence Yet for Liquid Water in Gypsum at Homestake

A.J.S. Rayl • December 07, 2011

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has discovered gypsum and its "single most powerful piece of evidence for liquid water on Mars."

Mars Exploration Rovers Update:Opportunity Crunches Homestake, Scouts Locales for Winter

A.J.S. Rayl • November 30, 2011

Opportunity roved toward the end of its eighth year of exploration on the Red Planet and chalking up yet another "exciting" textbook discovery for the Mars mission.

Curiosity in context: Not exactly "Viking on wheels," but close

Emily Lakdawalla • November 21, 2011

As I was beginning my research for my two magazine articles on the Curiosity rover's upcoming mission to Mars, I needed to figure out for myself how exactly this gigantic, ungainly machine fit in to the context of past Martian missions.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Heads for New Discovery as Winter Blows In at Cape York

A.J.S. Rayl • October 31, 2011

Opportunity roved on this month, driving alongside the rim of Endeavour Crater toward the northern end of Cape York in search of more science gold and a place to hunker down for winter.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs In at Endeavour Crater, Team Remembers 9/11

A.J.S. Rayl • September 30, 2011

Since leaving the plains of Meridiani, pulling up to Endeavour Crater and checking out its first rock last month, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has wasted no time in getting the "new mission" underway.

The latest HiRISE view of Opportunity, on Endeavour's rim

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2011

In a now-routine act of obtaining detailed photographs of robots from Earth sitting on the surface of another planet, the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a view of Opportunity sitting on the rim of Endeavour crater.

Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Finds Martian Mystery at Endeavour Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2011

More than seven and a half years after landing, Opportunity arrived at its long-anticipated destination, the rim of Endeavour Crater, and in less than three weeks found something strange enough to launch a new Martian mystery.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Arrives at Endeavour Crater, Mission Begins Anew

A.J.S. Rayl • August 31, 2011

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission roves back into the exploration spotlight this month as Opportunity arrives at the rim of Endeavour Crater, a destination that wasn't even an impossible dream when the rover landed back in January 2004.

Wheels on Cape York!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 10, 2011

Opportunity's wheels are on a whole new different kind of rock: she has arrived at the rim of Endeavour crater, on Cape York.

Spirit Point and Odyssey crater in sight, and new rock under Opportunity's wheels

Emily Lakdawalla • August 07, 2011

Opportunity is at her goal. In this 3D anaglyph, taken on sol 2678 (yesterday, August 6, 2011), Opportunity's wheels are resting on strange lumpy bedrock.

Mountains rising for Opportunity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 31, 2011

The views from Opportunity of Endeavour's near and distant rim peaks are getting ever more vertical as Opportunity approaches Cape York.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on Endeavour as Team Bids Farewell to Spirit

A.J.S. Rayl • July 31, 2011

Opportunity seemed to sail with the wind behind her back toward the western rim of Endeavour Crater this month as the Mars Exploration Rover team shifted gears in preparation for a whole new adventure, taking time out only to bid a final farewell both privately and publicly to Spirit.

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