TEN

By Mike Deliman

Deliman_lgTen years ago NASA launched a pair of robots into space.  Those robots
began a journey of discovery that helped change our models of how a specific
planet evolved over the past billion years…Mars.

Among the discoveries made, was a deposit of clay-like material, which can
only form with extensive water exposure.  That was a hoped-for and
unexpected bonus.

The robots were expected to last perhaps – at best – half a year. 
Their primary mission was designed for 90 days – 3 months.  Anything beyond this was a bonus, an extended
mission.

The journey to Mars took about seven months to complete.  Then the
terror, the landing, the origami-like unfolding, and the robots began their
freewheeling adventures. Read more about some of the technologies, such as Wind
River's real-time operating system VxWorks, that power Mars Science Laboratory
rovers here.

Opportunity has now broken NASA records – including the longest distance
driven somewhere -other- than on Earth.  (Stay tuned for 2 more possible
distance records!)  Spirit and
Opportunity together have changed our textbooks about Mars and how our solar
system evolved to the present day.  Can you believe we've had probes
running on another planet for nearly a decade?

Now at Solander Point, Opportunity may make even bigger discoveries than it
already has.  For more information, check NASA's science
web site
.  Enjoy!

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