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.
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.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2005/09/26 08:16 CDT
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/07/17 12:00 CDT
"Eureka! We have found it!"
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/06/25 12:00 CDT
As the Martian winter descends on Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers have hit the snowless slopes.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2004/06/15 12:00 CDT
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.
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