Jan
23
2013

Keep on rolling: Mars rover Opportunity hits ten-year mark

Rolling, rolling, rolling: Tomorrow marks the 10-year anniversary of the landing of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity. It's still taking pictures and collecting data on the Red Planet.
Rolling, rolling, rolling: Tomorrow marks the 10-year anniversary of the landing of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity. It's still taking pictures and collecting data on the Red Planet.Courtesy NASA
Can we expect to get more than 10 years out of our cars today? At best, they get listed as a "late model" vehicle in some classified ads. So how about our space cars?

This week the Mars rover Opportunity is marking its tenth year of rolling around the Red Planet. Not too shabby for something that was designed for just a quick three-month life span. It's partner rover, Spirit, seized up and got permanently stuck in sand three years ago. And now both vehicles are being overshadowed by Curiosity, the high-tech rover that just landed on Mars five months ago.

Like any older vehicle, Opportunity has its quirks. It gets around mostly in reverse these days because one of the front wheels doesn't turn well. Its robot arm needs some extra coaxing from operators to get jobs done. But it's still collecting samples and data. It total, it's logged 22 miles across the Martian terrain. Not too shabby for a late model rover.

Here's a link to NASA's webpage of photos and information that Opportunity has collected over the years.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ericka fields's picture
ericka fields says:

i know some boys and girls want to be a astonot but remember it could be dangerous dont just go to go you have to be strong to do this job

posted on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 10:01am
Peter Mould's picture

I am also very worried about this question. Now, my car is towards its fourth year and just early this year we had to replace one of its engine part that cost us nearly a thousand bucks. I think it will keep on rolling after ten years, but in between those years, you have to send it for regular servicing and a full overhaul once every few years, perhaps? That is for an average brand car. However, I am pretty sure that top notch quality auto brand like BMW can last you more than just ten years!

posted on Thu, 07/11/2013 - 2:55am

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