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The Mars Exploration Rovers Update

Since 2004, original interviews, original reporting, and the only regularly published news feature documenting NASA’s first overland expedition of the Red Planet through the adventures and discoveries of Opportunity, Spirit, and the MER team, by A.J.S. Rayl.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sleeps as Storm Chasers Study Planet-Encircling Dust Cloud

A.J.S. Rayl • July 04, 2018 • 5

As a monster dust storm grew to encircle the Red Planet in June, Opportunity spent most of the month in the dark, presumably sleeping in a hibernation mode as the skies over Endeavour Crater became darker and darker.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: Opportunity Pummeled by Massive Dust Storm, Hunkers Down to Sleep

A.J.S. Rayl • June 15, 2018 • 3

Entrenched in the west rim of Endeavour Crater, veteran robot field geologist Opportunity is hunkered down in Perseverance Valley in a kind of hibernation mode.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Makes Tracks on Magical Mystery Tour of Different Rocks

A.J.S. Rayl • June 02, 2018 • 11

Opportunity continued exploring the south trough of Perseverance in May, still looking for evidence that explains just how this one-of-a-kind valley meandering through Endeavour Crater’s rim formed.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Studies Mystery Rock, Mission Officials Seek 2019 Extension

A.J.S. Rayl • May 04, 2018 • 4

Opportunity spent April further exploring the area about halfway down Perseverance Valley, checking out unusual, vesicular or pitted rocks the likes of which she has never seen, while officials prepared the mission’s bid to keep the robot field geologist roving through 2019.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update Special Report: Perseverance Science So Far, New View of Endeavour at LPSC 2018

A.J.S. Rayl • April 27, 2018 • 1

For the 15th year in a row, Opportunity drove into the spotlight during an afternoon session at the 49th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Presses On in Perseverance, Pace Picks Up

A.J.S. Rayl • April 11, 2018 • 1

In the west rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity continued her exploration of Perseverance Valley in March.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 5000th Day, Snaps Selfie, and Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • March 05, 2018 • 3

When Opportunity’s 5000th day dawned in February, it was a meaningful milestone for the team, and it led to a personal first for the veteran robot field geologist that has chalked up so many firsts she’s set the standard for Mars rovers.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Mission Completes 14 Years of Exploring, Opportunity Roves into Year 15!

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2018

In January, Opportunity quietly completed 14 years of surface operations on Mars—the longest-lived robot on another planet.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Beats Winter, Wraps 2017, and Heads for 14th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 05, 2018

With the Martian winter on the run, Opportunity cruised closer to its 14th anniversary of exploring the Red Planet in December as she deliberated a distinctive “fork in the road” deep in Perseverance Valley and wrapped another record year.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Returns Fundamental Finding in Perseverance, Cruises Through Winter Solstice

A.J.S. Rayl • December 01, 2017 • 1

Opportunity continued the historic winter science campaign inside Perseverance Valley and delivered the goods that confirmed an important discovery in November, and then cruised through winter solstice, driving the mission closer to its 14th anniversary of surface operations coming up in January.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Pops Wheelies Over Etched Rocks in Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • November 02, 2017

As brutally cold got even colder at Endeavour Crater in October, the depths of winter gripped Opportunity, and ‘life’ on Mars slowed. But the robot field geologist continued to work on through the doldrums of the season.

Our Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) update has recorded the journeys of the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity on the surface of Mars since their arrival in January of 2004. It is a treasure trove of information, insight, and high-quality reporting detailing every step of this unprecedented voyage of discovery.

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