Mars rover Opportunity competes 5,000 days on the red planet

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spinonews Mars rover Opportunity

Mars rover Opportunity

NASA’s enduring Mars rover Opportunity has recently moved past another huge milestone competes 5,000 days on the red planet.

The rover Opportunity touched down on Mars in January 2004, on a mission that initially imagined to last only 90 Martian days. (Martian days or sols each one which is 40 minutes longer than an Earth day) and, today is sol number 5,000.

Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said, five thousand sols after the start of our 90-sol mission, this amazing rover is still showing us surprises on Mars.

According to researchers, a network of “shake stripes” in Perseverance Valley, a channel that slices through the western rim of the Red Planet’s 14 mile wide Endeavor Crater.

The rover team members said, opportunity’s photographs uncover that soil and rock arrange into obvious stripes, wind, downhill tumbling, repeated cycling of freezing and defrosting over the ages, or a blend of these factors.

Robert Sullivan, of Cornell University, said, debris from relatively fresh impact craters scatter over the surface of the area, complicating assessment of effects of wind.

The rover arrived on Mars few weeks after its twin, Spirit, which also set out on a 90-sol mission. The two rovers searched for indications of water activity on the Red Planet.

Spirit falling in 2010 after getting impeded in soft Martian sand. NASA announced the meanderer dead a year later.

However, Opportunity keeps on moving on, adding to its off-world driving record, which remains at 28.02 miles and checking. The rover has channeled around 225,000 pictures home to Earth amid its time on the Red Planet.