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Mars rover Opportunity is a decade old, continues to impress

What was expected to last only three months of operation is quite alive and still making great contributions in man’s exploration on the Red Planet. Since its landing on January 2004, the rover Opportunity has traveled 38.7 kilometers on Mars and sent back 170,000 images in the process.

To mark its tenth landing anniversary, the rover Opportunity has taken a composite image of itself (shown above), with the harsh environment of Mars reflected by the dust-ridden solar panels. The years of conducting experiments and performing missions has taken a toll on the rover Opportunity: one of its wheels is frozen, one robotic arm is jammed with dusts, and two instruments are no longer functioning properly.

Nevertheless, the rover Opportunity is notable for discovering evidences that suggest Mars had fresh water. Scientists hope to unearth more about the planet when the rover continues with its missions.

[Via: The Register]

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