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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.
Last week the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity celebrated its 5000th sol on Mars, and it celebrated by taking the first complete Mars Exploration Rover self-portrait.
In January, Opportunity quietly completed 14 years of surface operations on Mars—the longest-lived robot on another planet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Opportunity is continuing its drive down Perseverance Valley, a possible channel that was cut in the inner wall of the 22 km-diameter Endeavour impact crater on ancient Mars.
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.
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.
With the latest drive on sol 4782, Opportunity began the long drive down the floor of Perseverance Valley here on Endeavour Crater.
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.
Opportunity is doing a geologic walkabout at the entrance to Perseverance Valley, an ancient and potentially water-carved feature.
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.
Opportunity has arrived at the head of Perseverance Valley—a possible water-cut valley.
Opportunity has made the final drive in the month-long process that began way up north inside Endeavour Crater earlier this Earth-year.
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.
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.
Opportunity has begun driving down a long southward slope in Endeavour, heading toward Perseverance Valley.
For nearly two years, Opportunity's world has been tilted 10–25 degrees as it drove down to the lower slopes of the wall of Endeavour Crater. Toward the end of last week, Opportunity pulled itself up and over the lip of the crater.
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