10 years later and still going - Tucson News Now

10 years later and still going

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On January 25th, 2004, the Opportunity rover fell to Mars. That makes today the 10th anniversary of its landing. After more than 3,500 sols (Mars solar days) the golf cart-sized robot from Earth is still actively exploring the Red Planet, though its original mission plan was for three months. Having driven some 39 kilometers (24 miles) from its landing site, Opportunity now rests at Solander Point at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

Just a few days ago Opportunity found new signs that garden-variety life could have thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago. This new data matches information found by Curiosity, the newer rover that landed on mars in August of 2012. Curiosity and Opportunity are over one thousand miles apart.


This self-portrait was made with Opportunity's panoramic camera earlier this month. The camera's supporting mast has been edited out of the image mosaic but its shadow is visible on the dusty solar panels arrayed across the rover's deck. For comparison, a similar self-portrait from late 2004 is shown in the inset.
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