Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Spirit

  • What did Opportunity’s ‘last words’ actually mean?

    Jason RhianFebruary 17th, 2019

    "My battery is low and it's getting dark." This supposedly was the last message sent back to mission controllers on Earth by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. But is this actually what she "said?"

  • Farewell Opportunity: NASA ends efforts to contact silent Mars rover

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 13th, 2019

    NASA said efforts to regain communications with the Opportunity Mars rover have ended, concluding one of the agency's most successful missions.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Still silent, Mars rover Opportunity marks 15 years on Mars

    Jason RhianJanuary 24th, 2019

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, safely touched down on Mars 15 years ago today, on Jan. 24, 2004.

  • Inside Opportunity: Oppy still silent as dust storm begins to settle

    James RiceSeptember 1st, 2018

    It has been a long 80 days. We last heard from our rover on the slopes of Perseverance Valley back on June 10. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. So far however - nothing.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit remembered 13 years after landing

    Curt GodwinJanuary 4th, 2017

    The landing of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in January 2004 marked the beginning 13 years of continuous robotic operations on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, multiple spacecraft, including Spirit, have beamed back textbook-rewriting information about past water activity on the red world.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Spirit’s ordeals and triumphs begin

    Jason RhianJanuary 3rd, 2016

    On this date in space flight history, one of NASA's robotic pathfinders, the Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, touched down on the surface of the Red Planet at Gusev Crater. The actual landing took place at 23:35 EST (04:35 GMT Jan. 4) on Jan. 3, 2004. It touched down some three weeks prior to its sister, Opportunity; it was the start of a mission that would last some six years and redefine the word 'perseverance'.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The light and the dark – 9/11’s space connections

    Jason RhianSeptember 10th, 2015

    It was one of the most horrific attacks in U.S. history – highlighting both the worst and best humanity has to offer. It is remembered, simply, as “9/11”. In the end, the attacks served to create feelings of incredible pain and anguish – and, in some cases, serve as the inspiration toward brighter days.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Sojourner – Born on the 4th of July

    Jason RhianJuly 4th, 2015

    Eighteen years ago today, on the fourth of July, 1997, NASA’s Mars Sojourner rover, cocooned within the Pathfinder landing vehicle, who was itself covered in airbags, touched down on the surface of Mars. The landing marked the first time that a rover would land on the surface of the Red Planet – it would not, however, be the […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Remembering Spirit

    Gregory CecilJune 10th, 2015

    On June 10, 2003, the Mars rover Spirit (Mars Exploration Rover A (MER-A)) launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Space Launch Complex 17A (SLC-17A) aboard a Delta II rocket bound for Mars. Spirit was the first of two twin rovers, the other being Opportunity which followed 3 weeks later. Both rovers, built by […]

  • Opportunity celebrates 11 years on Mars with an amazing image

    Joe LatrellJanuary 27th, 2015

    Cape Tribulation is a high point on the edge of Endeavour crater, located on the planet Mars. This spot overlooks the 14 mile (22 kilometer) wide crater and the surrounding terrain. At more than 440 feet (about 135 meters) above the crater rim this location is almost 80 percent of  the height of the Washington Monument. […]

  • Opportunity goes the distance

    SpaceFlight InsiderAugust 3rd, 2014

    Our the past forty years, humans have landed multiple spacecrafts on the Moon and Mars in the name of science and exploration. These vehicles, more commonly referred to as rovers, spend their “lives” collecting and analyzing data to learn more about the world they landed on. Back in 2004, NASA landed a set of twin […]

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: celebrating an independent Spirit

    Heather SmithJune 10th, 2014

    On this day in 2003, Spirit, the first of NASA’s two Mars Exploration Rovers was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 17 in Florida aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The rovers were built to understand if Mars was or can be a habitable world. The scientific goals of Spirit and Opportunity […]

  • Insider Interview: Mars Exploration Rover’s Jim Rice PhD talks 10 years on the Red Planet

    Jason RhianApril 13th, 2014

    As NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity passes the one decade mark on the Red Planet, Dr. James Rice, a scientist working with the rovers looked back on 10 years of achievements and a future filled with possibilities. Rice detailed how the robot has survived adversity, persevered – and astonished.

  • ULA marks 25th anniversary of Delta II rocket

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 16th, 2014

    On Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 United Launch Alliance (ULA) commemorated the 25th  anniversary of the Delta II launch vehicle.  A quarter century earlier, on February 14, 1989, a Delta II lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying the GPS BII-01 satellite to orbit. While it was designed specifically to accommodate the Block II series of GPS […]

  • MER Opportunity, designed for 90 days, celebrates 10 years exploring Mars

    James TuttenJanuary 27th, 2014

    The Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, continues its mission of exploration, far past its given warrantee as it makes new scientific discoveries, 10 years after its mission on the Red Planet began. Its most recent findings involve the confirmation of a more milder environment on ancient Mars found in older rock samples that contain higher levels […]