After nearly 10 NASA’s Opportunity rover is still going

11 Jun

At almost 10 years old, the Mars rover Opportunity has made a major discovery. The rover found a definitive sign that at one time there was a large quantity of water flowing on the “Red Planet”. Whether that is still around anywhere isn’t know at this time but the clay that was created remains. The one certain thing about the water is that it was a neutral PH making it drinkable.
“A lot of water moved through this rock,” confirmed Steve Squyres, the principal investigator for the rover mission.
The year was 2003 when the folks at NASA were getting ready to launch a pair of rovers to Mars in what dubbed the “Mars Exploration Rover Mission”. The two rovers would be sent up separately and land on opposite ends of the planet to map the surface of the red planet and look for signs of water. Spirit was the first one up and was launch on June 10, 2003. Then Opportunity was next with a July 7, 2003 launch date.
The rovers where only meant to be on a 90 day mission of exploration. They surprised NASA by continuing to live on in the harsh conditions of the Martian landscape. Spirit eventually succumbed to the planet as it became stuck in 2009 and passed away. Its younger brother Opportunity though kept going on to this day where it is continuing on to “Solander Piont” where the rover will spend the Martian winter exploring the many rock formation of the mountainous region.
“Getting to Solander Point will be like walking up to a road cut where you see a cross section of the rock layers,” said Ray Arvidson of Washington University, St. Louis, in a press release.
This latest discovery yetg gives more fuel to the people that have always insisted there was once life on our sister planet.
For more on the discovery made by Opportunity you can read:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0610/Old-NASA-rover-shows-off-new-tricks
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57588494/opportunity-rover-finds-new-evidence-that-ancient-mars-was-habitable/
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9239939/After_10_years_on_Mars_NASA_rover_begins_new_mission
http://www.latinospost.com/articles/21114/20130610/nasa-opportunitys-still-finds-traces-drinkable-water-mars.htm

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