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 living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype and is forthcoming from The Laurel Review. A piece of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files.” Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona.