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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 Celebrates Milestones, Arrives at Solander Suburb

A.J.S. Rayl • August 05, 2013 • 1

The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission Opportunity celebrated the 10th anniversary of its launch on July 7, 2003, and then went on to complete the last leg of its 2 km trek from Cape York to Solander Point. But just before the robot field geologist pulled onto the actual base of the ridge where it will spend its sixth Martian winter, Mars lured the team off the path with some of the weirdest Martian rocks the scientists have seen yet.

Mars Exploration Rovers Mission Update: Opportunity Continues Sprint to Solander Point

A.J.S. Rayl • July 04, 2013 • 1

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission celebrated its 10th anniversary of leaving Earth in June, as Opportunity continued the sprint to its next winter haven at Endeavour Crater.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Cape York, Breaks Apollo Record

A.J.S. Rayl • June 05, 2013 • 1

It was a merry and mighty month of May for the Mars Exploration Rover mission: Opportunity finished a blockbuster study of Matijevic Hill finding the best evidence yet for an ancient, potentially habitable environment, and then embarked on its first real road trip in two years. The robot field geologist had barely gotten underway on its journey when it surpassed the Apollo 17 lunar rover distance record to become the most traveled NASA vehicle on another planetary body.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: Opportunity's Findings at Endeavour, So Far

A.J.S. Rayl • May 25, 2013 • 2

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity left Cape York on May 14th and embarked on a 2-kilometer journey south along the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover is heading now to Solander Point, where it will spend the coming Martian winter.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Emerges from Solar Conjunction to Wrap-Up Work on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • May 02, 2013 • 1

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) team waited out solar conjunction, Opportunity spent most of April atop the western rim of Endeavour Crater, conducting a chemical analysis of an ancient waterborne vein on Matijevic Hill. It was by the book until the last week of the month when the robot field geologist suffered an electronic "hiccup" known as a warm re-boot, and went into auto mode, a kind of safe mode when something doesn't go right.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Hunkers Down for Solar Conjunction, Final Science on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • April 02, 2013 • 5

As the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission trekked further into its tenth year of exploring the Red Planet, Opportunity spent the month of March finishing up its science investigations on Matijevic Hill.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Begins Wrapping Science on Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • March 06, 2013 • 1

As February turned to March, Opportunity was conducting some of its final science investigations on Matijevic Hill, the MER team was making preparations for the robot field geologist's trek south for the next winter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers mission was checking off another month of exploration.

Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Quietly Completes 9 Years Uncovering More Evidence of Water

A.J.S. Rayl • February 06, 2013 • 1

With its robot nose to the Martian grindstone, Opportunity completed its ninth year of working on Mars in January, making another significant science discovery in tiny white veins on Matijevic Hill as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission rolled on into Year 10.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Zeroes In on Clay Minerals and We Look Back on 2012

A.J.S. Rayl • January 08, 2013 • 4

Despite the lull of the holidays, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission recorded one of the expedition's best months ever in December as Opportunity and her team confirmed the location of the smectite clay minerals on Matijevic Hill, effectively grabbing the scientific brass ring they came hoping to find at Endeavour Crater.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs In at Matijevic Hill

A.J.S. Rayl • December 03, 2012 • 1

While Curiosity and her team found themselves entangled in a media furor over comments, assumptions, and rumors of findings that have yet to be found, Opportunity roved on in November, finishing up the geologic survey of Matijevic Hill and setting a new mileage record along the way.

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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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