Spiral Notebook
Opportunity’s Ninth Anniversary
by Elizabeth Rusch
January 16, 2013
Opportunity’s Ninth Anniversary

The Mars Rover Keeps on Trucking And Discovering!

The Mars rover Opportunity, expected to have a three month mission on Mars, has been exploring the red planet for NINE YEARS this month. (It landed January 3, 2004).

The little-rover-that-could is exploring around the rim of Endeavor crater and continues to make intriguing discoveries. In September, it took a photo of odd-shaped spherical rocks that are really puzzling scientists. “This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission,” said principal science investigator Steve Squyres in a press release. “Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different… They seem to be crunchy on the outside and softer in the middle. They are different in concentration. They are different in structure. They are different in composition. They are different in distribution. So, we have a wonderful geological puzzle in front of us. We have multiple working hypotheses, and we have no favorite hypothesis at this time. It’s going to take a while to work this out, so the thing to do now is keep an open mind and let the rocks do the talking.” Read more at: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20120914a.html

Elizabeth Rusch, author of The Mighty Mars Rovers

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