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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. If you're new to the mission or want a list of all our resources, check out our MER mission page

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Turns 12! Embarks on Electric Slide

A.J.S. Rayl • February 04, 2016 • 1

On January 24th, the veteran Mars Exploration Rover (MER) wrapped the last day of her 12th year of surface operations on Mars, marking an extraordinary, historic achievement for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes Another Record Year, Approaches 12th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 08, 2016 • 2

Perched on the southern wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater, Opportunity braved temperatures descending well below -100° F in December to work the winter science campaign and home in on the remnants of ancient clays.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Reality Bites but Opportunity Climbs to "Treasure Trove"

A.J.S. Rayl • December 03, 2015

Opportunity faced the challenges of winter as well as technological issues in November, but pressed on, hiking up hill and into a geological treasure trove that may well present the scientists with the evidence they need to solve the clay mineral mystery of Marathon Valley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Hits Winter Slopes at Marathon Valley

A.J.S. Rayl • November 04, 2015

Opportunity hit the slopes of her seventh winter haven on the south side of Marathon Valley in October as the mission entered the 130th month of what was initially slated to be a 90-day tour.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Rocks on Ancient Water During Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • October 02, 2015 • 1

Opportunity continued her walkabout around Marathon Valley in September and sent home more evidence of significant water alteration and, perhaps, an ancient environment inviting enough for the emergence of life.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs Marathon Valley Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • September 03, 2015

Opportunity drove farther into Marathon Valley in August, dug into what appears to be a water-altered rock, and took a lot of picture postcards in what is turning out to be a distinctively different site from any that the mission has found since the robot field geologist landed in 2004.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Enters Marathon Valley, Begins Walkabout

A.J.S. Rayl • August 03, 2015 • 4

Nearly seven Earth years after Opportunity set its sites on Endeavour Crater, the rover cruised into Marathon Valley, the once-but-a-dream destination.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Phones Home after Conjunction Healthy, Ready to Rove

A.J.S. Rayl • July 02, 2015 • 1

After three weeks of being in a communications blackout on the other side of the Sun during the Earth-Mars solar conjunction, Opportunity phoned home, reporting that she is healthy and ready to continue her mission.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Tours Spirit of St. Louis Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • June 03, 2015 • 1

Opportunity spent a mostly merry month of May on Mars touring Spirit of St. Louis Crater, stopping at science targets named in honor of Charles Lindbergh and the incredible flight he took 88 years ago.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs Sol 4000, Digs Spirit of St. Louis Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • May 05, 2015 • 2

After investigating some flat, light and dark toned rocks around Spirit of St. Louis Crater in April, Opportunity chalked up another milestone achievement – the 4000th sol or Martian day of surface operations.

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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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