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Mars Rover: Back On the Prowl for More Science

This image is of Opportunity’s traverse map and shows the entirety of the rover's travels to this point. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/University of Arizona

NASA’s Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover is on a roll.

The robot had spent some 19 weeks parked in one spot to survive the Martian winter. Due to the setting sun, Opportunity’s solar power was too low for driving.

The winter worksite was on the north slope of an outcrop called Greeley Haven.

Opportunity has used its rear hazard-avoidance camera after nearly completing a May 8 drive, capturing a view looking back at the Greeley Haven.

Landing in the Meridiani region of Mars in January 2004, the rover has far exceeded its 90-day warranty!

Since its touchdown, the robot has wheeled itself over 21 miles of landscape.

Sistership, the Spirit rover, has long been silent after becoming stuck in sand. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010.

But for Opportunity, its Mars trekking continues.

“It’s great to be moving again,” said James Rice, a co-investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover Missions at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Opportunity is set to explore the northern region of Cape York for now, Rice said, and then later embark on a grand voyage to Cape Tribulation.

By Leonard David


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