Mars Rovers Exceed 1 Year Mark – And Expectations

A year ago today scientists erupted in riotous applause when a robotic rover named Opportunity safely bounced to a stop on Mars. Today, long after the end of its 90-day initial mission, the rover continues to dazzle the world with insight into Mars’s wet past.

“I never, ever would have imagined the opportunity to literally be standing here a year later and saying yet again, ‘We’re back, and we’re still on Mars,'” departing NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe told reporters gathered for a celebration earlier this month. The occasion was to mark the one-year anniversary of the successful landing and deployment of Spirit, Opportunity’s twin rover which plopped down on to the opposite side of the red planet on January 3, 2004.