A mosaic of images taken in January 2012 shows Opportunity’s vista north (left) and northeast (right), in an outcrop known as “Greeley Haven,” where the rover spent its fifth Martian winter. The image released by NASA is presented in “false color,” to make differences in the landscape easier to see.
With the darkest days of the Martian winter now over, NASA took its Opportunity Mars Rover for a drive this week. The rover had been stationary while its solar panels lacked enough sunlight to power its batteries.
The rover’s drive Tuesday was a short one: “about 12 feet northwest and downhill,” according to NASA. The agency says Opportunity has driven 21.4 miles since it landed on Mars in January of 2004.
Opportunity’s current area of southern Mars reached its winter solstice at the end of March. And that means the rover’s “break time” is over.
Let’s all take a moment and appreciate the fact that Opportunity was supposed to last for 90 days and is still waking up almost 8 years later.