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Mars NASA Space Science

'Opportunity' Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Roving Mars 51

An anonymous reader writes "Ten years ago today, six and half months after launch, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's six-wheeled, solar-powered Opportunity rover landed on the surface of Mars, tumbling into a previously unknown feature now referred to as the 'Eagle Crater'. Opportunity and its twin Rover Spirit, which had arrived three weeks earlier, proceeded to crawl over and through plains, craters, and sand dunes, collecting and analyzing soil and rock samples, and taking panoramic photos of their surroundings, blowing orders of magnitude past the original projected 90 day mission timeframe. Spirit's mission drew to a close after it became irretrievably bogged down in soft soil in 2009; scientists lost contact with the rover in early 2010. Meanwhile, Opportunity is still going strong, with scientists announcing new evidence this past week of an ancient mild watery environment conducive to microbial life. Several web sites have mined the NASA archives to assemble tributes commemorating 10 years of work from Opportunity: Time,, Information Week/Techweb. There's also a bricks-and-mortar tribute; the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC has just opened an exhibit featuring photos sent by the two rovers."
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'Opportunity' Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary Roving Mars

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @09:56AM (#46066003)

    Does anybody know when it will get to the Face on Mars? This is something truly worth investigating from the ground. They could provide real evidence to show one way or another that it is or is not it is intelligently-made.

    "The Face" is a trick of light/shadow, no mystery to it anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 25, 2014 @10:27AM (#46066111)

    is out of order, i heard today.

    The Chinese moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), has experienced a mechanical control abnormality, and scientists are organizing repairs. The difficult environment was blamed for the malfunction.

    The glitch occurred due to the "complicated lunar surface environment,” the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) said in a report on the issue.

    The abnormality occurred before the rover entered its second dormant phase on Saturday after the lunar night set in, while the lander, another part of the mission, also “fell asleep” on Friday.

    The researchers are currently "organizing an overhaul", according to the SASTIND report quoted by the Xinhua state news agency.

    The lunar night is equal to about a fortnight on Earth.

    During that time, the temperature plunges to minus 180 degrees Celsius, and the rover, which is equipped with a solar panel, falls dormant due to lack of sunlight.

    The Yutu rover gets information via its radar, panorama camera, a particle X-ray device and infrared imaging equipment, according to SASTIND.

    The mission, called Chang'e-3, landed on the Moon on December 14, and was the third successful attempt to soft-land a spacecraft after the US and Russia (at the time of the landing – the Soviet Union).

    In total, 130 lunar probes have been carried out, with a success rate of only around 51 percent, Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar probe program, told Xinhua in an interview. []

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Saturday January 25, 2014 @01:32PM (#46066935) Homepage

    It's because a 10th anniversary occurs after the passage of 11 years.

    Maybe in Bizarro World...

    The first happened at the end of year one.

    Yes, after one year had passed. See how all the numbers are the same?

    1st anniversary, end of year one, one year has passed.
    10th anniversary, end of year ten, ten years have passed.

    This is the start of the 10th year for Opportunity

    The start of the first year of Opporunity's Mars journey occurred in January 2004. We're now in January 2014. This is the start of its 1st+10=11th year.

    its 9th anniversary and 10th year anniversary.

    I think the fourth character of your username needs to be moved back a couple of places.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus