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 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?