Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Opportunity

  • NASA’s Opportunity rover still finding surprises on Mars

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 19th, 2018

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover continues to make surprising discoveries during its fourteenth year exploring the red Planet. Most recently, the rover has observed evidence of possible "rock strips." In recent images from the rover, the texture of the ground looks like a smudged version of distinctive stone strips on some mountain slopes on Earth that are the result of reoccurring cycles of freezing and thawing of wet soil.  

  • Opportunity rover has spent 5,000 Martian days on the Red Planet

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 18th, 2018

    NASA's Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, on a 90-sol (one sol equals one Martian day) mission, just marked its 5,000th sol roving and studying the Red Planet.

  • Dust storms linked to gas escaping Martian atmosphere

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 26th, 2018

    A new study using data gathered by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) during the Red Planet's most recent global dust storm in 2007, suggests that such storms play a role in the escaping of gases from the planet's atmosphere. That process transformed the warmer, wetter climate of ancient Mars into the arid, frozen conditions found on the surface of the Red Planet today.

  • NASA has the angle on Opportunity’s longevity

    Curt GodwinDecember 8th, 2017

    Operating long past its original mission of 90 Martian solar days – also known as "sols" – NASA's Opportunity rover has survived another passage through the deepest part of the Martian winter. Drawing on years of experience, operators positioned the stalwart robot on a northward-facing incline to give Opportunity's solar panels the best chance of generating enough electricity to survive the Martian winter.

  • Opportunity rover takes ‘Sprained Ankle’ Panorama

    Jim SharkeyJuly 26th, 2017

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" recently recorded a panoramic view before entering the "Perseverance Valley", which descends the inner slope of Endeavour Crater's rim. The valley is a major destination for the rover's extended mission.

  • NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover on walkabout near crater rim

    Jim SharkeyJune 28th, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover is investigating rocks near the rim of Endeavour Crater for signs that they were either transported by a flood or eroded in place by the Martian wind. These are two of several possible explanations for features observed the crater rim's crest above "Perseverance Valley", which is carved into the inner slope of the crater's rim.

  • Martian crater provides reminder of Apollo 16 mission

    Jim SharkeyJune 20th, 2017

    During the 45th anniversary of Apollo 16's voyage to the Moon, NASA's Opportunity Mars rover drove by a relatively young crater on Mars' surface, providing a connection between the two missions. The feature was informally named "Orion Crater" by the Opportunity mission team, in honor of the Apollo 16 lunar module – Orion.

  • NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover begins study of ‘Perseverance Valley’

    Jim SharkeyMay 19th, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has reached the main objective of its current two-year extended mission – an ancient fluid-carved ravine, called "Perseverance Valley", on the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

  • Opportunity Mars rover leaves ‘Tribulation’ for ‘Perseverance’

    Jim SharkeyApril 23rd, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover is leaving "Cape Tribulation" – the crater-rim segment it has investigated since late 2014 – and driving south toward its next destination, "Perseverance Valley". The rover team plans to explore the valley to determine what type of activity carved it billions of years ago: water, wind, or flowing debris carried by water.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Opportunity rover marks 13 years on Mars

    Curt GodwinJanuary 25th, 2017

    NASA's Mars rover "Opportunity" might never be classified as speedy, averaging only slightly more than 2 miles (3.36 km) per year since its landing on Jan. 25, 2004. Nevertheless, what the stalwart explorer lacks in range is more than made up with its longevity. The rover has been in active operation on the Red Planet for 13 years, far exceeding the original planned mission of 90 sols (∼92 Earth days).

  • Opportunity rover to explore Martian gully

    Jim SharkeyOctober 12th, 2016

    NASA's Mars rover "Opportunity" will drive down an ancient Martian gully carved by a fluid that may have been water. The rover will also visit, for the first time, the interior of the crater that it has been working beside for the last five years.

  • Inside Opportunity: South!

    James RiceOctober 4th, 2016

    The Mars Exploration Rover "Opportunity" is continuing its epic journey across Mars. It has discovered some interesting features along the way – as the science team honors the robotic geologist's predecessors.

  • Inside Opportunity: Red (Planet), White and Blue

    James RiceJuly 4th, 2016

    The United States leads the way in terms of exploring the planet Mars, and Mars Exploration Rover team member Jim Rice shares his personal experiences as the nation marks its 240th anniversary.

  • NASA’s Mars orbiters discover seasonal dust storm pattern

    Jim SharkeyJune 15th, 2016

    After decades of trying to determine patterns in Martian dust storms from images showing the dust, a team of researchers has found that the clearest pattern can be discerned by measuring the temperature of the Martian atmosphere. The scientists found a pattern of three types of large regional dust storms that occur in the same sequence each year during spring and summer in the southern hemisphere of Mars.

  • Inside Opportunity: Dust devils, high-altitude clouds, and sulfur-rich soils

    James RiceJune 2nd, 2016

    Since my last update, Opportunity has traveled 100 meters westward up a slope in Marathon Valley to continue our search for the elusive phyllosilicates (clay minerals) that were detected from orbit by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometers for Mars (CRISM) instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.