Mars Rovers update

July 13, 2006

It’s been far too long since I updated all of you on my fascinating little friends Spirit and Opportunity.  These hardy little Mars rovers are still going strong. 

Spirit now drives on only 5 wheels, rather than the original 6, and while that has caused some problems, it is now safely ensconced on a north-facing slope.  The north slope provides enough solar power during the Martian winter to continue powering the heating devices that protect the rover electronics.  The map below is of Spirit’s progress since the martian landing in 2004.  The picture below that is a rather interesting look at some possible iron meteorites that are in Spirit’s view.

  Spirit_map_of_progress

Spirit_71306

Opportunity is high-tailing it toward a rather large crater (see picture).  You can see the difference in size from the Erebus crater it examined several months ago.  By the time it gets there, it will have driven very close to 6 miles, which is rather amazing for a machine only meant to last 3 months.  Opportunity_progress_map

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