Join Donate

Blog Archive


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

A.J.S. Rayl • October 27, 2005

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.

An opportunity for Spirit to see Earth and Venus together?

Emily Lakdawalla • September 26, 2005

I received the following question by email last week: "Do you know if the Mars rovers team has any plans to photograph Venus and Earth together in the evening sky from either rover site? They will be closest together around Sept. 29th."

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

A.J.S. Rayl • September 22, 2005

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2005

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • June 30, 2005

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

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

A.J.S. Rayl • June 05, 2005

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • April 28, 2005

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • March 25, 2005

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • January 05, 2005

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).

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

A.J.S. Rayl • December 21, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • December 09, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • October 22, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • October 08, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • October 06, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • September 23, 2004

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.

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

A.J.S. Rayl • August 19, 2004

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Finds Hematite Opportunity Discovers Signs of More Water

A.J.S. Rayl • June 25, 2004

As the Martian winter descends on Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers have hit the snowless slopes.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Rovers Go Up Hills, Down a Crater, and May be Showing Signs of Age

A.J.S. Rayl • June 15, 2004

The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity continue their trek across the varied surface of the Red Planet, climbing hills and descending into a crater. After a two-month journey of over 3 kilometers through rocky terrain, Spirit has now begun climbing the Columbia Hills, which were seen on the horizon in the early panoramas taken from the landing site. The rover is expected to spend much of its remaining life climbing the hills and analyzing their geological make-up. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, Opportunity is carefully descending into the stadium-sized depression dubbed "Endurance Crater" by the MER team. The rocky formations revealed on the slopes of the crater promise to provide some of the richest sources for studying the geological history of Mars.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Uncovers More Evidence of Water Opportunity Prepares to Rove into Endurance Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • June 09, 2004

The Mars Exploration Rovers are each entering new chapters in their extended missions that are already returning more intriguing discoveries, but they are both beginning to slow down now as the Martian winter closes in on them.

Items 181 - 200 of 225  Previous12345678910Next
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

The Planetary Fund

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


You are here: