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Mars Space Science

Opportunity Begins 10th Year on Mars 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticking-around dept.
An anonymous reader points out that 9 years ago the Opportunity rover started to explore the red planet. "The older, smaller cousin of NASA's huge Mars rover Curiosity is quietly celebrating a big milestone Thursday — nine years on the surface of the Red Planet. NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars the night of Jan. 24, 2004 PST (just after midnight EST on Jan. 25), three weeks after its twin, Spirit, touched down. Spirit stopped operating in 2010, but Opportunity is still going strong, helping scientists better understand the Red Planet's wetter, warmer past."
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Opportunity Begins 10th Year on Mars

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  • Re:Not Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:56AM (#42688361) Journal

    Opportunity is definitely one of NASA's great success stories. A wonder of engineering talent (and a heavy dose of good luck).

    I hope by the time humans finally walk on Mars, it's still there so it can be preserved.

  • Not even 5 years (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:57AM (#42688373)

    Martian year is 1.88 Earth years, so it hasn't even run for 5 years on Mars.

  • Re:Not Bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SeaFox (739806) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:02AM (#42688605)

    I hope by the time humans finally walk on Mars, it's still there so it can be preserved.

    I just had a mental image of humans landing on Mars and Opportunity rolling up and waving an arm at them in greeting when they open the hatch to step out. :-3

  • Re:Not Bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ihlosi (895663) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:46AM (#42688735)
    I hope by the time humans finally walk on Mars, it's still there so it can be preserved.
    However, the implications of the rover no longer being where it is assumed to be would be ... interesting.
    Might make for a good start of a sci-fi horror movie ... or comedy.
  • Re:Not Bad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:01AM (#42689005)

    Yeah. 100 years from now we roll up in our Mars buggy to Opportunity's location, see wheel tracks (I know, erosion, shut up - this is my fantasy) leading up to the exact location where the rover should be, and...no rover.

    Then I can't decide whether it would be cooler/weirder if it was just wheel tracks and no rover or wheel tracks with strange looking "foot" prints leading up to the spot where there was no rover...

  • Re:Not Bad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:58AM (#42689191)

    I am consistently impressed by this exquisite example of engineering.

    The folks who designed and built these machines must have an incredible sense of achievement. I understand the argument that money could have saved if they were designed for and not in excess of the requirements, but in this age of consumer electronics and epic budget cuts those engineers delivered engineering success.

    I often wonder what the engineering management lessons are to be learnt from the likes of JPL, and how these lessons could transform folks at Boeing and Lockheed (Dreamliner, F22, etc...). Indeed how those lessons could transform humanity.

    An so there it sits: a device for exploration, but so much more a monument to intellectual capacity and success.

  • Re:Huzzah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skater (41976) on Friday January 25, 2013 @08:53AM (#42689623) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this will help, [youtube.com] courtesy of Ikea.
  • Re:Huzzah! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @11:13AM (#42690801)

    I usually go to xkcd to be amused or be provoked into thinking, but this rover existentialism made me a bit sad, actually. I know it's just an inanimate object, but it's hard to stay objective when there's a voice being projecting onto it :/

    My 6 year old daughter and I happened to watch the launch of Curiosity, and while we were waiting I showed her some pictures of Curiosity. She thought it was really cute. We talked about rockets and stuff, and eventually she asked how it got back to earth. When I explained that it wouldn't she got really quiet then started crying. She was very upset by the idea that this little robot would never get to come home.

  • Re:Huzzah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wolfrider (856) <kingneutron.yahoo@com> on Friday January 25, 2013 @05:53PM (#42695931) Homepage Journal

    --Watching "Silent Running" when I was in the hospital as a kid did the same thing to me. :-\

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067756/ [imdb.com]

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