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Follow the thrilling adventures of planetary missions, past and present, and see the stunningly beautiful photos that they return from space!

Happy 3rd anniversary of the Spirit landing!

Emily Lakdawalla • August 26, 2009

"Third anniversary?" some of you may be asking. "Hasn't it been more like five years since Spirit landed?" Five Earth years, yes. But today is the third anniversary of the landing, measured in Mars years.

A sunset into the dust

Emily Lakdawalla • August 24, 2009

While Spirit has been stuck at Troy, it's been taking numerous opportunities to capture photos with dramatic twilight lighting. On sol 2,002 (three sols ago, or August 21), it gazed toward the setting Sun, snapping the shutter roughly once a minute.

New image of Opportunity on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • August 14, 2009

I really can't explain why it didn't occur to me to search for the rover in the image of Victoria crater released by the HiRISE team on Wednesday.

Mars eye candy: New oblique view of Victoria crater

Emily Lakdawalla • August 12, 2009

Today the HiRISE team released a lovely new view of Victoria crater, taken nearly a year after the Opportunity rover departed it.

Spirit hiccup

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2009

Another of those dreaded "status reports" from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory arrived in my mailbox just now.

Spirit puts the pedal to the metal

Emily Lakdawalla • March 24, 2009

Way to go, Spirit! The last two drives for the five-wheeled rover have taken it a total of about 40 meters west, traveling around the north edge of Home Plate. If I'm not mistaken, that's more than Spirit has driven in the last 400 sols combined.

What are the rovers up to? March 2009

Emily Lakdawalla • March 05, 2009

As usual, troubled Spirit's progress sometimes amounts to only centimeters, while golden child Opportunity has already clocked four kilometers on its trek toward Endeavour.

Spirit update: It keeps going

Emily Lakdawalla • February 04, 2009

There have been a couple more releases from JPL in recent days updating the slightly worrisome announcement about Spirit that came out on January 28.

Spirit's not behaving normally -- sometimes

Emily Lakdawalla • January 28, 2009

Rather than try to interpret what's going on, I'm just going to repost in full a "rover mission status report" (always an ominous subject heading) I just received from the JPL media relations office. I'll post updates when any are available.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast: Five Years of Living Vicariously on Mars

Emily Lakdawalla • January 24, 2009

Next in The Planetary Society's 365 Days of Astronomy doubleheader is Planetary Society President Jim Bell, whose show, airing today, is on "Five Years of Living Vicariously on Mars."

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