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When it comes to Mars missions, NASA's twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity seem to be the robots that never quit. The two plucky probes were each built for a 90-day romp across the Martian surface, a mission that began when Spirit bounced to a stop on the planet's expansive Gusev Crater five years ago today. Opportunity touched down on the other side of Mars a few weeks later and now - after half a decade - both rovers are still exploring the red planet after surviving more than 20 times their planned lifetime. "The American taxpayer was told three months for each rover was the prime mission plan," said Ed Weiler, NASA's associate administrator for science missions at the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters, in a statement. "The twins have worked almost 20 times that long. That's an extraordinary return of investment in these challenging budgetary times." The rovers reportedly cost about $20 million to operate each year since their 2004 arrivals on Mars. Roving Mars Spirit set down at Gusev Crater on Jan. 3 at 11:35 p.m. EST (8:35 p.m. PST), where it overcame initial computer glitches and went on to scale nearby hills and brave the frigid Martian winter
year after year. Opportunity bounced to a stop inside what scientists later dubbed Eagle crater just after midnight (EST) Jan. 25 in an interplanetary hole-in-one on the vast Martian plains of Meridiani Planum. Since then, the rover has spotted a Martian meteorite, visited the heat shield cast off during its landing and explored ever larger craters as it makes it way toward Endeavour, a monster crater 14 miles (22 km) across.
Posted by SLAYER69
You know whats sad? With all the gloom and doom now a days nobody really cares about good stuff anymore! I think this is awesome when something outlives it's original design specs like the Voyager space probes did and now the rovers I say atta boy NASA. Now release more Black Budget High Tech we can use it
Posted by RFBurns
What I think is more the issue is that the environment on Mars might not be so harsh as NASA has been telling us. Even the most well insulated electrical storage battery or fuel cell will go bad under the huge variance of temperature changes that occur on the planet....unless those temperature changes are not as they say they are.
Originally posted by alyosha1981
....so what else are they hiding from us? and why? I believe they know a great deal more then they are letting on to and for reasons unknown to the public they choose to keep these secrets behind closed doors, why?
Originally posted by SLAYER69
It's not case of them not thinking we can’t handle the truth.
Because I think that they know we can, It's a matter of if they do tell us the truth that means that they have lied and if they have lied about this that opens a very nasty can of worms as per what else have they've been lying to us about and how often have they lied.