The revival of the auto industry is perfectly fine, but the hottest car around is a decidedly limited-edition one: the Opportunity rover, now celebrating its tenth year working and roving on the Red Planet. Like any old car, Opportunity has its flaws: one of its six wheels is shot, not all of its instruments are working as they once did and its robotic arm has dust in its joints. But the golf-car-sized vehicle, which came with just a three-month warranty (admittedly a low-ball figure that NASA engineers suspected it would easily beat) has lasted far longer than even the most optimistic mission planners predicted—and fours years longer than its sister rover, Spirit, which arrived on Mars at around the same time and winked out in 2010. In that decade, Opportunity has put more than 23 mi. (37 km).on its odometer and is still on the move. Opportunity went to Mars to do science, and it’s delivered splendidly on that score—with data streaming back about the chemistry and geology of Mars both today and in its distant past, and tantalizing hints to its biological potential. But humans are visual creatures, and it’s the pictures from the rovers—a small collection of which follow—that will always thrill us most. Happy birthday, Opportunity—and keep rolling.
- Extreme Heat Makes It Hard for Kids to Be Active. But Exercise Is Crucial In a Warming World
- Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan Has Badly Damaged U.S.-China Relations, But Not Irreversibly
- Reality TV Has Reshaped Our World, Whether We Like It or Not
- Progress Is Not A Given. It is Won: The Connection Between James Baldwin and Toni Morrison
- The Inflation Reduction Act's Name Says A Lot About The Climate Fight
- How Reservation Dogs Became More than Just Must-See Television in Its Second Season
- The U.S Will Soon Have Space Force Ambassadors Around the World