Gallery and Videos: Mars Rover's Marathon Journey

Gallery and Videos: Mars Rover's Marathon Journey

To celebrate the Opportunity rover's 26th mile, NASA has released a time-lapse video, showing the robot's POV from the past eleven years.

Running a marathon, anyone would admit, is no easy task. It took NASA's Opportunity rover more than eleven years to complete 26 miles across the harsh landscape of everyone's favorite red planet, each moment of which filled with excitement, discovery, and challenge. To celebrate its robot's achievement, NASA has released a time-lapse video from the rover's own POV encompassing its entire journey.

Previously on the Escapist: a list of amazing nerdy names for Pluto's geography.

Originally only intended to function for three months, Opportunity has beaten the odds and kept going for eleven years and change past its 'best-by' date. Its twin rover, Spirit, also outlasted expectations - it ceased operations, finally, in 2010 after getting stuck.

Last year Opportunity suffered what the space agency was calling "amnesia events," where it would fail to save date. That, like every other challenge the little robot that could has encountered, was solved. Stuck wheels, broken cameras, dying batteries - there is no end in sight for the machine, and still it provides us with new and exciting data on a regular basis.

Check out this gallery of images Opportunity has taken over the past several years, also courtesy of NASA:

Earlier this year, NASA produced another anniversary video for its rover:

Here's hoping Opportunity has eleven more years - at least - to go! Maybe it'll still be rolling around the hills by the time the first humans set foot on the red planet?

Source: NASA

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Man, thats insane. Talk about value for the dollar on that probe. I imagine that if we do a series of manned landings, one of the goals might be to return or restore this crazy little rover, just for the historical significance of what it's managed to do.

Not to mention it'd be an excellent thing to study for how well materials fair in the martian environment. Some frames made it look like the wheels had suffered some nasty damage, looked skeletal even.

I would've liked to see the time-elapsed video a little slower than that. It's the course of the probe's journey over several years shrunk down to eight minutes. I'm sure Youtube would've given you clearance to stretch it to like 16 or something so we can see a few more details. Even still, very cool to look at. Hoping the next eleven years are fruitful.

FalloutJack:
I would've liked to see the time-elapsed video a little slower than that. It's the course of the probe's journey over several years shrunk down to eight minutes. I'm sure Youtube would've given you clearance to stretch it to like 16 or something so we can see a few more details. Even still, very cool to look at. Hoping the next eleven years are fruitful.

Yeah, I agree that the original video could certainly have been a little bit slower. I used Youtube's settings to slow it down to .5 speed for my own viewing; maybe that'd work for you, too?

PatrickJS:

FalloutJack:
I would've liked to see the time-elapsed video a little slower than that. It's the course of the probe's journey over several years shrunk down to eight minutes. I'm sure Youtube would've given you clearance to stretch it to like 16 or something so we can see a few more details. Even still, very cool to look at. Hoping the next eleven years are fruitful.

Yeah, I agree that the original video could certainly have been a little bit slower. I used Youtube's settings to slow it down to .5 speed for my own viewing; maybe that'd work for you, too?

A thought that I had not been thinking there. I guess not everything youtube puts in its updates are useless.

 

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