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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007, 14:32 
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Mars Rovers: Scientific Staying Power

By Leonard David
Special Correspondent, SPACE.com
posted: 06 November 2007
06:17 am ET

GOLDEN, Colo. – After more than three and a half years of operation, NASA's twin Mars rovers continue to thrive, showing no signs of stopping as they relay a wealth of valuable data back to Earth about that ancient world's past, present and future.

NASA announced Oct. 15 that it was extending, for a fifth time, the activities of the trailblazing robots – Spirit and Opportunity – perhaps through 2009.

The six-wheeled, golf-cart sized dual rovers that make up the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project, have been, quite literally, on a mechanical and scientific roll since they landed on opposite sides of Mars in January 2004. They continue to function well, NASA officials said, despite the fact that each one only had an engineering warranty of 90 days of life to carry out their respective missions.


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