Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Spirit, Mars rover, lands on Mars 2004

Spirit (MER-A: Mars Exploration Rover - A or MER-2) landed on the Martian landscape January 4, 2004.  It was launched June 10, 2003 and was planned for a 90 day mission, but Spirit proved to be more valuable.  Spirit operated for 2269 days before contact was lost.  It logged 4.8 miles of driving, much more than the planned 0.4 miles.  After more than 5 years of exploration, Spirit got stuck in soft soil.  For eight months, NASA tried to free it but finally announced in January 2010 Spirit was permanently stuck, but it continued to conduct scientific research from its stationary position.

Spirit captured a dust devil moving across the Martian landscape: 

Three weeks after Spirit landed, its twin rover, Opportunity (MER-B) landed on the opposite side of Mars.

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