A stuck robotic rover may have overtaken NASA's Viking probe as the longest-surviving mission on Mars -- so long as it's still alive. But its robotic twin Opportunity could also still grab the record next month if the Spirit rover has slipped into its final winter slumber, SPACE.com reports.
After surviving tough conditions on the Red Planet, the twin rovers nearly get shut down by a shortage of cash
By Gregory MonePosted 03.26.2008 at 10:01 am 3 Comments
It would have been pretty heartbreaking for space fans if Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Martian rovers, had survived on the Red Planet all these years, only to be shut down and lost for good due to budget cuts.
Apparently NASA sent a letter last week to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the lab that runs the rovers' program, specifying a $4 million cut. Scientists said this move would have forced them to put one rover into hibernation mode, and limit the duties of the other.
Martian rovers pushed aside to allow massive data transfer from polar lander
By Bjorn CareyPosted 02.15.2008 at 2:48 pm 0 Comments
When NASA's Phoenix lander parachutes from orbit and touches down on the outskirts of Mars' northern polar ice cap on May 25, it will join the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers as NASA's active roster on the planet's surface. And, as is typical of the youngest child, Phoenix will receive the majority of NASA's attention during its mission.