Mars Rovers Celebrate Fifth Anniversary

Celebrating their fifth anniversary in January, the Mars rovers have made important discoveries about wet and violent environments on ancient Mars, have returned a quarter-million images, descended into craters, survived dust storms and relayed more than 36 gigabytes of data via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The rovers will continue to explore Mars.

NASA's twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, celebrated their fifth anniversary on Mars, but may still have big achievements ahead.

Launched in January 2004, the two rovers were expected to work for about three months, said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The twins have worked almost 20 times that long.  That's an extraordinary return of investment in these challenging budgetary times."

The rovers have made important discoveries about wet and violent environments on ancient Mars, have returned a quarter-million images, descended into craters, survived dust storms and relayed more than 36 gigabytes of data via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The rovers remain operational for new campaigns the team has planned for them.

Source:  NASA,Mars Rovers Near Five Years of Science and Discovery

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