Opportunity | Rover Enters Teenage

On 24 January 2004, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed and started exploration. It joined the Spirit Rover which landed three weeks earlier on a different part on the Martian surface. The twin rovers were designed for mission lifetimes of 90 days.

Spirit’s last communication with Earth was 22 March 2010 more than six years into the mission. Opportunity is still operating well and continues to return images and data to Earth after thirteen years. It recently completed a marathon of distance travelled. Detailed maps are available here. To celebrate entering teenage, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory released this entertaining video about the milestone.


11 thoughts on “Opportunity | Rover Enters Teenage

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing that it’s still going, and still going strong. It’s not a crewed spacecraft, but it’s still a remarkable thing that the people at NASA have been able to do. They seem like small steps, but every one helps expand what we know, and also help us learn how to learn; how to keep going. I didn’t realize it’d been that long.

  2. That’s a wonderful video. It does occur to me that the humans in it seem to be teenagers themselves. This would have been a heck of a class project.

    • I’ve noticed a lot of very young faces in some of the space project crews. That is a good thing. Their enthusiasm is contagious. The recent launch by SpaceX was a good example. As the rocket flew along its path and reach various milestones, great cheers went up and arms were raised in excitement. What fun.

  3. Wonderful post! So much can be learned from our solar system. . . even about ourselves. 🙂 It was nice to see those young faces in the video. It is also incredible that we can send something into space with the ability to update its software, essentially making it more valuable. Just imagine if we did that to our products on Earth. We would have iPhones that would last 50 years. Vehicles with the ability to be adapted to electric. Windshields that didn’t crack. Guns that wouldn’t shoot if pointed at another human. It really wouldn’t be that difficult. Look at the Mars Rover, it’s amazing.

    • I like your thinking. We humans get in the way of progress toward good solutions by bickering over things like alternative facts and other craziness. It is inspiring to see teams do things like the rovers and other spacecraft.

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