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Waspie_Dwarf

Decade-Old Rover Adventure Continues

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Decade-Old Rover Adventure Continues on Mars and Earth

Eighth graders didn't have Facebook or Twitter to share news back then, in January 2004. Bekah Sosland, 14 at the time, learned about a NASA rover landing on Mars when the bouncing-ball video on the next morning's Channel One news in her Fredericksburg, Texas, classroom caught her eye.

"I wasn't particularly interested in space at the time," she recalled last week inside the spacecraft operations facility where she now works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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NASA and Smithsonian to Host 10-Year Anniversary Events for Mars Rovers

NASA and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington are sponsoring events to commemorate 10 years of roving across the Red Planet by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER).

Anniversary activities will showcase the images and achievements of Spirit and Opportunity, both launched by NASA in the summer of 2003. Activities also will highlight how Mars robotic exploration and discovery will aid plans for a future human mission to Mars.

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Bolden Mars Rover Anniversary Message

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden discusses the 10th anniversary of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity and the agency's upcoming plans for Mars.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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I love those little rovers.

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I love those little rovers.

Amazing though they are I don't wish to be guilty of anthropomorphism. It is the designers and builders of those machines that I will reserve my respect for.

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NASA Celebrates Decade of Mars Exploration by Spirit, Opportunity

Androids rolling along distant planets were once only the stuff of science fiction. However, in recent years, mechanized trailblazers have become NASA's precursors to human explorers. Among the most successful have been the twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), known as Spirit and Opportunity, now marking a full decade of work on the Red Planet.

The Mars Exploration Rovers objectives were to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. Mission planners initially hoped the two rovers would operate for 90 Martian days, or sols. The term sol refers to the duration of a solar day on Mars, equal to 24 hours and 39 minutes on Earth.

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