NASA’s Opportunity rover surpasses 5,000 Martian days on the Red Planet

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On Saturday, NASA’s Opportunity rover celebrated a monumental anniversary all by itself on the surface of the Red Planet: surviving 5,000 Martian days. It’s an incredibly significant milestone for the little-wheeled robot, given the fact that it was only expected to last just 90 days. Opportunity is just one of two rovers currently functioning on the Red Planet, along with NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Opportunity launched on top of a Delta II on July 7th, 2003, along with a twin rover called Spirit. The pair then landed on Mars three weeks apart in January 2004, both going to opposite sides of the planet. The day of Opportunity’s landing, January 25th, was considered Sol 1 — or the first Martian day for the rover. The term “sol” is used to…

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