Did you know that in 2004 the Mars Exploration Rover – A (also known as “Spirit”) landed successfully on Mars? Spirit was designed to study the rocks and soil on Mars. Spirit’s mission was only planned to last 90 days and travel half a mile; however, windstorms cleaned off Spirit’s solar panels, and the rover was able to last for 5 years, 3 months, and 27 days and travel almost 5 miles!
We hope that you have a great day of discovery. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
On May 1, 2009 Spirit got stuck in some soft soil and engineers were not able to free the rover. It continued performing research in that location. The last communication received from Spirit was on March 22, 2010. Scientists continued to try to contact the rover until May 24, 2011 and the mission was considered complete on May 25, 2011.
Spirit weighs about 400 pounds, stands about 5 feet tall, 7.5 feet wide, and 5.2 feet long. Maximum speed is 2 inches/second or about 0.11 miles/hour.
Spirit’s ‘twin’ rover Opportunity landed on Mars about 3 weeks after Spirit. It, too, had a 90-day planned mission, but as of December 2015, it is still in operation 10 years after landing!