Mars rovers turn 10 this month, NASA celebrates - Tucson News Now

Mars rovers turn 10 this month, NASA celebrates

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Source: NASA Source: NASA

NASA landed Spirit and Opportunity, twin Mars rovers on the Red Planet, 10 years ago this month.  

Spirit landed on January 4, 2003 with Opportunity touching down on January 25th. (Note: The landing times are based on Eastern Standard Time. The landing date on the west coast, 3 hours earlier than EST, was the day before.)

The original mission length was 3 months. 

Both rovers completed their mission successfully with Opportunity still roaming the surface of Mars today. 

NASA lost communication with Spirit in March of 2010.  

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) manages the mission and is located at the California Institute of Technology.

To celebrate the historic landing and the success of the mission, NASA has events planned all month long. 

Although most events are far away from Arizona, there are opportunities to interact online.  

Below is a list of the online events from NASA. For more details click here.

  • Tuesday, January 7th at 8:30 AM: NASA and the museum will facilitate two panel discussions on Mars robotic and human missions. Held in the museum's Moving Beyond Earth gallery, participants will discuss the MER program and its scientific successes. Participants also will provide updates on the agency's activities to advance a human mission to Mars in the 2030s. Watch the plane live at http://www.livestream.com/mars. The public can ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #10YrsOnMars.
  • Thursday, January 16th at 8 PM: JPL will host a public celebration of a decade of the twin Mars Exploration rovers. The event will be held in the Beckman Auditorium on the California Institute of Technology campus, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena. The event will be streamed live on the Web at http://ustream.tv/NASAJPL.
  • Thursday, January 23 12 PM: JPL will host a media briefing on the Opportunity rover's decade of exploration. NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of the event. Reporters and the public can ask questions from NASA centers and via Twitter using the hashtag #10YrsOnMars. The discussion will also be webcast live at http://ustream.tv/NASAJPL . For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, vis it http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

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