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MER Updates for 2006

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Heads to Home Plate as Opportunity Finally Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • January 31, 2006

As the Mars Exploration Rover mission presses onward into its third Earth year -- and second Mars year -- the twin robot field geologists are moving to new destinations.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Slides into Home Plate as Opportunity Finishes Work at Erebus

A.J.S. Rayl • February 28, 2006

As early autumn descends on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move and picking up the pace as they rove toward their next major destinations.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Makes Tracks for McCool Hill as Opportunity Roves to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • March 31, 2006

As autumn falls toward winter on the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, the Mars Exploration Rovers are on the move again. Although the twin robot field geologists are roving as quickly as possible to their next major destinations, the pace is slowing down.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Pulls up to Winter Home as Opportunity Races to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • April 28, 2006

Two years and 3 months after they bounced to landings at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, the Mars Exploration Rovers are heading into their second, long cold Martian winter.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Works Winter Campaign as Opportunity Roves Adrift on way to Victoria

A.J.S. Rayl • May 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers are now well into their second Martian winter and, all things considered, both Spirit and Opportunity are faring pretty well for being, essentially, aging Baby Boomers on bitter cold, dusty alien planet some 50 million miles away from home.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Discovers More Meteorites as Opportunity Closes in

A.J.S. Rayl • June 30, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are wheel deep in winter, and still faring well, working hard, and sending home interesting new finds despite the below freezing Martian temperatures. The next month or so will bring the season's coldest temperatures to the rover's present habitats, but so far, no one on the team is losing any sleep over whether or not they'll make it through, because these rovers just keep going and going . . .

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Completes Mission's Grandest Panorama, Opportunity Approaches Beagle Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • July 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are working right through the depths of the winter at their respective locations in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum. Although the twin robot field geologists are putting in short days and taking quality time to recharge, they still have team members marveling over their latest Martian finds.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Waits to Bust a Move, Opportunity on Final Leg to Victoria Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • August 31, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers, which bounced to landings in January 2004 with 90-day warranties, have survived their second winter solstice on the Red Planet and are still going strong more than two and a half years after landing.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Perseveres, Opportunity Arrives at Victoria Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • September 29, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers are reaching new milestones and gaining newfound energy as winter slowly begins to pass on the Red Planet. Once again, Opportunity commanded the spotlight as it pulled up to the rim of the massive Victoria crater this week and began returning images that may redefine the word spellbinding. Twin sister, Spirit, meanwhile, is resigned to stay in its northward-tilted position for another month looking at the same scenery in order to collect the maximum energy supply for its solar panels.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: New Milestones Set as Spirit Celebrates 1000 Sols, Opportunity Digs Victoria with a Little Help from a Friend

A.J.S. Rayl • October 30, 2006

The Mars Exploration Rovers managed to log another couple of significant milestones this month even as they worked in place, on autopilot, for the last two weeks during superior conjunction, the period that occurs every 2 years when Earth and Mars orbit into positions on opposite sides of the Sun, obscured from each other. With the conjunction now over, the rovers are slated to be back in command operation by tomorrow, All Hallow's Eve or, more popularly, Halloween.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit Moves to New Targets, Opportunity "Sails On" Around Victoria's Rim

A.J.S. Rayl • November 30, 2006

With both a superior conjunction and a long, Martian winter behind them, the Mars Exploration Rovers picked up the pace in November and drove on to new locations and research.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Spirit and Opportunity Smarten Up for Year 4 on Mars

A.J.S. Rayl • December 31, 2006

Defying all the odds, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) are wrapping up 2006 in new locations and roving into their fourth Earth year of exploring the Red Planet. Spirit is slated to celebrate the milestone on January 3, 2007 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT), with Opportunity marking the milestone just 3 weeks later, on January 24, 2007.

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