Mars Exploration Rovers – One More Martian Year?

Dr. Laurence Soderblom from the U.S. Geological Survey provided yesterday an update on the Mars Exploration Rovers to faculty and students at the University of Arizona. Both rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are working well and could survive for another Martian year (about two Earth years).

Opportunity is still inside Endurance Crater and may attempt to exit the crater in the next few days. If successful, Opportunity may then travel to an even deeper and larger crater approximately five kilometers away.

Spirit has made its way up the Columbia Hills, studying rocks along its path. Scientists will then send Spirit to a nearby peak and then have it travel along the spine of the hills on its way to an apparent sedimentary basin.

The evidence for surface water in the distance Martian past continues to build, as well as evidence for alternating periods of wet and dry climates.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).