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Thread: Discussion: Rovers' Contracts Extended a ...

  1. #1
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    SUMMARY: NASA has given Spirit and Opportunity up to another 18 months to continue rolling around the surface of Mars in search of evidence of past water. The rovers have already completed their primary 3-month missions, and then an additional 11 months of extensions. Both rovers are still in surprisingly good shape, and are approaching targets that would have initially been considered out of reach. Opportunity set a new driving record on March 20, completing 220 meters (722 feet) in a single day's drive.

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  2. #2
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    Congrats to the MER teams! Another 18 months!!! Excellent news. I wish them all the best.

  3. #3
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    Heh, they finally got tired of giving them 3-month extensions. I suspect that fall 2006 is the next martian winter and, with the batteries eventually losing their ability to hold a charge, they just set the extension to the point where 99% of the engineers agreed the rovers would be kaput.

  4. #4
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    They may not last another 18 months, but letting them go until they drop is fine by me. As they're running them from remote locations on small teams and a shoe string budget now anyway, why not get the most out of them that they can. Just like the Voyagers running 25 years later.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Darrrius@Apr 6 2005, 08:26 AM
    Congrats to the MER teams! Another 18 months!!! Excellent news. I wish them all the best.
    I'm all with you, Darrius

    This is some of the best news we've heard in months about the Rovers!!! I was so pleased to read about this new extension but was surprised at first by such a long extension till I read the posts above that give the most convincing explanation for the relatively long extension!

    I hope they can go on for all or, at the very least, the greater part of this new extension period as they have provided us with the best info to date on the surface of Mars. Who knows what they might turn up in the next few months?

    Congratulations again to the teams that made the Rovers missions possible!

  6. #6
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    This has been a great mission from the beginning. Not enough kudos can be given to the wonderful job the teams have done. This is an example of the best NASA and JPL can do.

  7. #7
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    Yes, I hope the Mars 2009 Rovers continue the success, but with a wider assortment of instruments and tools. It will be nice that they won't depend on the solar cells, and have to worry about dust accumulation.

    I wonder what they have in mind for Spirit after it gets done exploring these hills... or perhaps exploring the hills could take the rest of its life. I'd be curious to know if it has a chance to get to the Gustav Crater wall.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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