Spirit’s 10th Anniversary

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,504
    This week marks the 10 year anniversary for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, the twin of the space agency’s Opportunity rover.

    This week NASA will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its Mars Exploration Rover Spirit touching down on the Martian surface.  The twin to the Opportunity rover, Spirit landed on the Red Planet on January 4, 2004, after a 7-month-long journey.  The original mission called for 90 Martian days of exploration, but ended up being 2,208 Martian days after several extensions.  Spirit took high resolution images of the Martian surface, drove a total 4.8 miles, and became the first robot to summit a hill on another planet.  And most importantly, the rover revealed the presence of pure silica on the Martian surface by accident.   The presence of silica revealed there were once hot springs or steam vents, which could have supported microbial life.