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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 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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Braves Onset of Winter to Picture Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • October 02, 2017

The Martian winter began to grip Endeavour Crater in September, slowing Opportunity's pace. But she braved the brutal cold in Perseverance Valley and followed her commands to visually document everything in sight.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Ventures Deeper into Perseverance

A.J.S. Rayl • September 01, 2017

Along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity forged onward in August vicariously taking the Mars Exploration Rovers team – along with a global contingent of mission observers all around Earth – downhill into Perseverance Valley and deeper into a new chapter in this legendary expedition of the Red Planet.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Perseverance Valley, Settles in for Solar Conjunction

A.J.S. Rayl • August 01, 2017

After struggling to get her left front wheel unstuck in June, Opportunity quickly adapted to a new driving strategy and unabashedly cruised into Perseverance Valley in July.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Sprains ‘Ankle’ but Perseveres on Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • July 02, 2017 • 1

The autumn skies over Endeavour Crater remained hazy as dust from the summer storms continued to rain down, but Opportunity encountered some unexpected and serious June gloom when her right front steering wheel jammed during the walkabout atop Perseverance Valley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Shoots the Moon on Arrival at Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • June 06, 2017

In another dynamic demonstration of what can be achieved when a team works together, Opportunity cruised to the top of Perseverance Valley, shot the moon, and drove into her 160th month of surface operations in May.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Closes in on Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • May 03, 2017 • 1

Opportunity spent the month of April 2017 outside the western rim of Endeavour Crater, cruising toward Cape Byron and Perseverance Valley, the centerpiece of its tenth extended mission.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Dodges Dust Storms, Makes Tracks to Perseverance Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • April 04, 2017 • 5

After wrapping the final science investigations on the slopes of Cape Tribulation, Opportunity climbed up and over the rim of Endeavour Crater in March and embarked on the journey south toward its next science target: Perseverance Valley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Reaches Top of Endeavour Rim, Wraps Cape Tribulation

A.J.S. Rayl • March 03, 2017 • 5

Driving the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission further into its fourteenth year of surface operations, Opportunity continued hiking the slopes of Cape Tribulation in February and finally reached the crest of Endeavour Crater’s western rim.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Celebrates the Big 1-3, Begins 14th Year of Ops!

A.J.S. Rayl • February 04, 2017 • 2

2017 got off to a start that was unprecedented in every good way: Opportunity completed her 13th Earth year of surface operations and drove the first overland expedition of the Red Planet into its 14th year.

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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