Approaching a record on Mars

Opportunity and Spirt are still hanging in there, despite a major Martian dust storm causing the lowest power levels seen on the (solar-powered) rovers to date. Opportunity, in particular, has been having a tough time of it:

More details at’s fresh article: The 2007 Martian Dust Storm: Crisis for Some, Opportunity for Others.

I read a forum comment that we’re approaching breaking the on-surface record for one of the Viking landers. Let’s hope the MERs pull through this latest obstacle as well as they have in the past!

Sols on surface of Mars:
Viking 1 Lander: 2245
Viking 2 Lander: 1281
Spirit: 1261
Opportunity: 1241

One thought on “Approaching a record on Mars”

  1. The people who worked on these rovers are genius. I mean, drop-and-bounce-landing a golf sized cart rover, having it running on its own for 3 years despite a flaky wheel, a trap sand, a defective flash module and so on, on a planet where the temperature averages -100, make it drive for about 10km and oh, no other source of power than the sun and rechargeable batteries. Now the dust might shut it down for a while, until a dust devil cleanse it out and with a little bit of chance, the “get-the-hell-out-of-the-deep-sleep” mode will wake up the rover again!

    Way to go.
    Stephane, Val-des-Monts, QC

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