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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Moves to New Targets, Opportunity "Sails On" Around Victoria's Rim

A.J.S. Rayl • November 30, 2006

With both a superior conjunction and a long, Martian winter behind them, the Mars Exploration Rovers picked up the pace in November and drove on to new locations and research.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: New Milestones Set as Spirit Celebrates 1000 Sols, Opportunity Digs Victoria with a Little Help from a Friend

A.J.S. Rayl • October 30, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers managed to log another couple of significant milestones this month even as they worked in place, on autopilot, for the last two weeks during superior conjunction, the period that occurs every 2 years when Earth and Mars orbit into positions on opposite sides of the Sun, obscured from each other. With the conjunction now over, the rovers are slated to be back in command operation by tomorrow, All Hallow's Eve or, more popularly, Halloween.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Perseveres, Opportunity Arrives at Victoria Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • September 29, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers are reaching new milestones and gaining newfound energy as winter slowly begins to pass on the Red Planet. Once again, Opportunity commanded the spotlight as it pulled up to the rim of the massive Victoria crater this week and began returning images that may redefine the word spellbinding. Twin sister, Spirit, meanwhile, is resigned to stay in its northward-tilted position for another month looking at the same scenery in order to collect the maximum energy supply for its solar panels.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Waits to Bust a Move, Opportunity on Final Leg to Victoria Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • August 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers, which bounced to landings in January 2004 with 90-day warranties, have survived their second winter solstice on the Red Planet and are still going strong more than two and a half years after landing.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Completes Mission's Grandest Panorama, Opportunity Approaches Beagle Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • July 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are working right through the depths of the winter at their respective locations in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. Although the twin robot field geologists are putting in short days and taking quality time to recharge, they still have team members marveling over their latest Martian finds.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Discovers More Meteorites as Opportunity Closes in

A.J.S. Rayl • June 30, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are wheel deep in winter, and still faring well, working hard, and sending home interesting new finds despite the below freezing Martian temperatures. The next month or so will bring the season's coldest temperatures to the rover's present habitats, but so far, no one on the team is losing any sleep over whether or not they'll make it through, because these rovers just keep going and going . . .

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Works Winter Campaign as Opportunity Roves Adrift on way to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • May 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers are now well into their second Martian winter and, all things considered, both Spirit and Opportunity are faring pretty well for being, essentially, aging Baby Boomers on bitter cold, dusty alien planet some 50 million miles away from home.

New items on the website: Rover update and Stardust@home

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2006

I just wanted to point out a couple of new items on the website.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Pulls up to Winter Home as Opportunity Races to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • April 28, 2006

Two years and 3 months after they bounced to landings at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers are heading into their second, long cold Martian winter.

Get used to this view

Emily Lakdawalla • April 19, 2006

Get used to this view of Home Plate and Husband Hill, because Spirit will be seeing a lot of it over the next 8 months, whenever power levels permit the rover to eke a little bit of science activity out of the day.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Makes Tracks for McCool Hill as Opportunity Roves to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • March 31, 2006

As autumn falls toward winter on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move again. Although the twin robot field geologists are roving as quickly as possible to their next major destinations, the pace is slowing down.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Slides into Home Plate as Opportunity Finishes Work at Erebus

A.J.S. Rayl • February 28, 2006

As early autumn descends on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move and picking up the pace as they rove toward their next major destinations.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Heads to Home Plate as Opportunity Finally Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2006

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Descends Husband Hill as Opportunity Works at a Standstill on Olympia

A.J.S. Rayl • December 30, 2005

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Achieves Martian Year Milestone while Opportunity Reveals Harsh Challenges for Past Martian Life

A.J.S. Rayl • November 30, 2005

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.

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.

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