9 Years on Mars ... and Counting

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.

While the Curiosity rover enjoys all of the Martian press (the aliens love it), the Opportunity rover celebrates its 9th anniversary this week.  The rover, along with its twin rover Spirit, was originally designed for a 90 day mission. 3,285 days later, Opportunity is still kicking and sending data millions of miles to Earth.  

From University Today:

The resilient, solar powered Opportunity robot begins her 10th year roving around beautifully Earth-like Martian terrain where where she proved that potentially life sustaining liquid water once flowed billions of years ago when the planet was warmer and wetter.
Opportunity is healthy and has driven over 22 miles (35 kilometers )- marking the first overland expedition on another planet.

Unfortunately, Spirit has not sent any signals so it may be dead in the water. But that's the very reason why NASA sent twin rovers to Mars in 2004 - redundancy is crucial when it comes to space exploration.

Think about the devices that you own - how many have lasted 10 years?  I've highlighted a few in my Yeah They Still Work (YTSW) series - Sony mini disc player, Double Dribble Tiger electronic game, cassette tapes, oh my!

Source: University Today