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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Efforts to Recover Spirit Expand as Opportunity Wraps Up Work at Santa Maria

A.J.S. Rayl • February 28, 2011

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission emerged from its third solar conjunction this month and, as March roars in, is embarking on its 86th month on the Red Planet. While Opportunity roved away from a surface target it had been studying at Santa Maria Crater and on to an intriguing blue boulder, JPL engineers on Earth stepped up their efforts to recover Spirit, which has been silent, ostensibly in hibernation mode, since late March, nearly one year ago.

New website full of color versions of Opportunity rover's microscopic images

Emily Lakdawalla • February 24, 2011

There is a fascinating new page on the Mars Exploration Rover Pancam science team's website, full of color versions of Opportunity's microscopic images. The Microscopic Imager is one of the tools on the end of the robotic arm, and serves as a hand lens for the robot geologist to explore the rocks and sands of Mars in great detail.

Conjunction season is over, and Opportunity is back to work

Emily Lakdawalla • February 17, 2011

It's always a relief when conjunction passes. Opportunity has gotten right back to work, sending down data acquired just before the moratorium, which spanned from January 27 to February 11.

Google Mars base maps available for Opportunity's future traverse

Emily Lakdawalla • February 09, 2011

Thanks to the work of several amateurs, Google Mars is a great tool for following the past and future peregrinations of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Celebrates 7 Years of Exploration

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2011

Seven years ago this month, Spirit bounced down onto the surface of the Red Planet, rolled to a stop upright, and beeped home, ready to roll. Three weeks later, Opportunity not only bounced down safely and right into a small crater, but opened its "eyes" to see what the Mars Exploration Rovers had been sent to find signs that water had once flowed there.

"A genuinely weird experience": A video of Steve Squyres explaining a photo of Steve Squyres

Emily Lakdawalla • January 12, 2011

In a lovely talk, in his uncommonly engaging way, Steve Squyres presents the portrait of him that now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Sunset and eclipse on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 05, 2011

These two movies were posted to the JPL website a couple of weeks ago, and they are just amazing.

Two views of Santa Maria, from orbit and from the ground

Emily Lakdawalla • January 04, 2011

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has just snapped another photo of Opportunity sitting on the ground on Mars. These pictures never get old.

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