Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Opportunity: longest-lived landed Mars mission

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

19-05-2010 10:26 CDT

Topics: Opportunity, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers

Today is sol 2,246 of Opportunity's mission to Mars; as I write, it's just before 7:00 local solar time. If this sol passes, as her previous 2,245 have done, with Opportunity still alive and speaking to Earth, she will have surpassed a record set on November 12, 1982: Opportunity will pass Viking Lander 1 as the longest-lived landed Mars mission.

It's a remarkable achievement but tinged with some poignancy, because of course it should have been Spirit who claimed this prize, a month ago; Spirit landed on Mars twenty and a half sols before Opportunity, so is the older of the twins. But Spirit's asleep -- we hope. We don't know. We can't know if she was alive or not for the landmark day, and we won't know if she was unless it turns out she was alive and she wakes up from her long sleep to talk to us again.

So let's hope that Opportunity's claim to the record is a short one, and that soon her older sister will take the prize away!

Passing the torch

Astro0 /

Passing the torch
Some time on May 19, 2010, Opportunity will pass Viking Lander 1 for the record longevity of a Mars landed mission: 2,246 sols.
See other posts from May 2010


Or read more blog entries about: Opportunity, mission status, Mars Exploration Rovers


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.


Featured Images

Color map of Pluto
Comparison of Schiaparelli and Opportunity landing locations
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera image of Curiosity landing site
Schiaparelli landing site, after landing attempt
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!