The twin rover, Spirit, became mired in deep sand and its last communication with Earth was on March 22, 2010. Opportunity is currently alone on the red planet, but will be joined by the next generation in rover technology in August, 2012. Curiosity is a substantial mobile laboratory with a nuclear power source. The landing system is unique and we are hoping for a good start for the mission.
|The vista circa May, 2012. This is the largest crater in the journey and represents the oldest rock strata. You can see the edge of one of the solar panels in the foreground. The dust accumulation is reducing power output.|
|Discovery from late 2011: Gypsum like deposits caused by free water percolating through rock strata. Opportunity and Spirit both observed evidence of past free water on the surface of Mars.|
|Self portrait from 2007. The solar cell still look pretty clean.|
Video: Eight Years and Counting
Congratulations to Opportunity and the many builders and mission operators of NASA. The mission is now open ended. We hope Opportunity keeps producing good science for many days to come.
|Opportunity in 2002|