An Opportunity to explore

The Opportunity rover has been exploring Mars for around one Earth year. That is incredibly impressive when you realise that the two rovers - Spirit and Opportunity - were originally designed to explore for 90 days. NASA engineers usually build these things to last a bit longer than we are initially told as it looks good when you tell people it is working better than expected, but I'm sure they didn't really plan for it to work this long.

A couple of weeks ago, Opportunity drove to the the site where one of the lander's heatshields had landed. It took pictures of the twisted metal of the heatshield that was littering the surface. It also spotted an ancient metallic meteorite nearby which has been called Heat Shield Rock. It is pitted with holes and, according to the spectrometers, it is mostly made of iron and nickel. Opportunity will apparently travel to a circular feature called "Vostok" within the next week.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 22nd Jan 2005 (22:40 UTC) | Permalink
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