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31. Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Perseveres Struggles, Opportunity Digs in at Marquette Island -- And We Look Back on 2009

(Web Page; Mon Feb 18 12:56:00 CST 2019)

Happy New YearRoving onward into new adventures and a New Earth Year. This artistic portrait comes from the U.K., courtesy rover affciando Stuart Atkinson. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell / background by Stuart Atk...

Description: The Mars Exploration Rovers quietly wrapped up 2009 this month: Spirit continued to valiantly spin its wheels in an attempt to get out of its embedded location on the west side of Home Plate in Gusev Crater; and Opportunity continued its investigation of Marquette Island, perhaps the oldest Martian rock it's found to date at Meridiani Planum.

32. Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on 11th Anniversary and We Look Back on 2014

(Web Page; Wed Jan 07 06:16:00 CST 2015)

Mars Exploration Rover NASA / JPL-Caltech / Maas Digital With a wonder year of discoveries, historic feats, and bummers in the rear view mirror – and plenty of mettle to continue exploring – Opportunity ended 2014 quiet...

Description: With a wonder year of discoveries, historic feats, and bummers in the rear view mirror – and plenty of mettle to continue exploring – Opportunity ended 2014 quietly working in a temporary back-up mode, as her colleagues on Earth ramped up for the mission's marathon adventure to come in 2015.

33. Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Rovers Pass 6-Year Milestone as Spirit Halts Extrication to Winter at Troy, Opportunity Cruises to Concepcion Crater

(Web Page; Mon Feb 18 12:56:00 CST 2019)

6 Earth years and still goingWhen they launched in the summer of 2003, Spirit and Opportunity were given 6 months at most to live. This month the twin robot field geologists both crossed the 6 Earth years milestone, a m...

Description: Five and a half years after they were supposed to be history, the Mars Exploration Rovers celebrated their sixth Earth year on the Red Planet with Opportunity pulling up to a fresh, new crater on the road to Endeavour, and Spirit working on repositioning itself to settle in for the coming Martian winter, and perhaps the rest of its mission.

34. Things I think are cool in the first MESSENGER image of Mercury

(Web Page; Mon Apr 23 02:02:00 CDT 2012)

OK, the baby's in bed and I have time to examine the new face of Mercury. To review: this is the first image returned from MESSENGER following its first flyby of Mercury, on Monday, January 14, showing a face of Mercury not seen by Mari...

Description: Things I think are cool in the first MESSENGER image of Mercury

35. What's up in the solar system for the week of December 8: Getting ready for AGU

(Web Page; Wed Aug 29 15:51:00 CDT 2012)

It's been a month since I checked in with our active planetary spacecraft; let's go again from the innermost to the outermost reaches of the solar system and see what's going on. One of the most important meetings for planetary scientis...

Description: What's up in the solar system for the week of December 8: Getting ready for AGU

36. What's up in the solar system for the week of September 8

(Web Page; Wed Aug 29 15:51:00 CDT 2012)

I'm sorry I skipped this roundup last week -- both for you readers and for me; now I have two weeks' worth of events to catch up on! Fortunately this appears to be a quiet week for space exploration.The big news, last week, of course, w...

Description: What's up in the solar system for the week of September 8

37. Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Parks for Winter, Opportunity Tastes Chocolate Hills

(Web Page; Mon Feb 18 12:56:00 CST 2019)

Mars Exploration RoversCredit: NASA / JPL-Caltech As winter put the freeze on in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers slowed down a bit, but continued throughout February to demonstrat...

Description: As winter put the freeze on in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers slowed down a bit, but continued throughout February to demonstrate the mettle that made them famous: Spirit successfully drove backwards, parked in place for the season, then continued working, as Opportunity roved through rock debris on a cruise around the rim of Concepcin Crater.

38. Mars Exploration Rover Update: Spirit Silent Still, Opportunity Savors Santa Maria, We Flashback on 2010

(Web Page; Fri May 29 17:44:00 CDT 2015)

Mars Exploration RoversCredit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Maas Digital The Mars Exploration Rovers are wrapping up another year of exploring – their seventh -- having experienced both the best of times and the worst of times: Spir...

Description: The Mars Exploration Rovers are wrapping up another year of exploring their seventh -- having experienced both the best of times and the worst of times: Spirit continued a 10-month struggle to endure its coldest, harshest Martian winter yet; Opportunity set a new record for driving despite an arthritic front wheel and a broken shoulder, putting more miles on her rocker bogie in 2010 than in any other single year.

39. Four hundred and fourteen years since Galileo

(Web Page; Fri Feb 19 18:45:00 CST 2016)

ERRATUM: Woops. I made a great big error on the launch vehicle for Galileo -- it was, in fact, the Shuttle. Thanks to Bruce Moomaw for the correction below! My last podcast for 365 Days of Astronomy aired over the weekend: "Galileo and ...

Description: Galileo, the scientist, discovered the Galilean satellites of Jupiter four hundred years ago next month, while Galileo, the mission, arrived at Jupiter to study those moons in situ fourteen years ago Sunday.

40. Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes First Marathon on Another Planet and Roves On

(Web Page; Fri Apr 03 11:42:00 CDT 2015)

Mars Exploration Rover NASA / JPL-Caltech / Maas Digital It began as a day like thousands of others for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission, but it ended in a way no other sol or Martian day ever will again. On March 24, 201...

Description: On March 24, 2015, after spending several weeks investigating some new rock types along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity roved past 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) and put the first off-Earth marathon in her rear view mirror, driving the Mars Exploration Rovers mission back into the space history books.

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