REAL SCIENCE: Happy Anniversary, Opportunity!

Republibot 4.0
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The Mars rover, Opportunity, was launched ten years ago for what was planned to be a three-month mission--if they were lucky enough to get it to land safely, and if the Martian dust didn't obscure the machine's solar panels and kill its motors.


The plucky little robot not only survived its original mission, but it continues to chug along well past its sell-by date, sending back data on the Martian surface.  Its twin, Spirit, went silent back in 2010, but now Opportunity is moving across an area called Botany Bay to explore another point on the Endeavour Crater.  In all, it's covered over 22 miles, breaking the American off-Earth driving record held by the Apollo 17 lunar rover, and closing in on the record of 26 miles set by Russia's Lunakhod 2 rover.


Wouldn't it be nice if more things exceeded expectations like the Opportunity Rover?


You can read more about it here: