Celebrate a decade on Mars with the Opportunity rover selfie
posted Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:55 PM EDT
While the newer, more modern Mars Curiosity rover may get much of the attention these days, let's not forget about the Opportunity, the Mars rover that touched down on the planet a decade on January 25, and has been beaming back photos and information ever since. Originally only planned for a three month mission, the Opportunity has continued to operate for far longer than was originally intended—and in celebration, how about a selfie of the robot's decade on Mars?
You can see the full size version of the picture through NASA, and the image was snapped with Opportunity's panoramic camera earlier this month, over the course of three days. The mast that the camera is mounted on has been edited from the picture, though you can still make it out in the shadows. For comparison's sake, here's what the Opportunity looked like in 2004, before it got quite so dust blown.
Even though the Opportunity has well exceeded its original mission goals, it's still sending back new information and findings to Earth, and over the course of the 24 miles it's traveled over the last decade, it has significantly improved our knowledge of Mars.
So here's to the Opportunity! An incredible machine that survived well beyond what anyone had planned for, and has sent us back incredible views and information from Mars! We can only hope that it keeps on ticking, and that the Curiosity lasts just as long!