November 05, 2004

Obviously not Yugo's

Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity continue to function and are sending back intriguing data from the surface of the red planet.

Spirit, having trekked nearly two miles across the flat terrain of the vast Gusev Crater region where it set down, is zigzagging up the rugged Columbia Hills and is now nearly 200 feet above the surrounding plain.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, er, on the other side of the planet:
Opportunity is nearing the end of its exploration of stadium-size Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region and may claw its way over the rim.

These guys have solar arrays used to generate electricity and have been working on reduced power during the Martian winter. As time goes by, the arrays have been covered by a light coating of dust, which has reduced their efficiency. But Opportunity recently received an unexpected power boost.
"One favorite [theory] is that a dust devil happened to pick the vehicle to go through and go over the surface of it and clean it off a little bit," Erickson said.

I'd rather imagine that the Martian equivalent of Gomer Pyle wandered by and did the windows. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise!

Posted by Ted at November 5, 2004 05:27 AM
Category: Space Program

I was just reading about that today. Very cool that the little dudes are still going.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at November 5, 2004 07:21 AM
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