NASA's Latest InSight of Mars Probes


OPPORTUNITY: The rover, designed to last 90 days, landed on Mars in 2004, and was still going longer until a dust storm involving the planet hit in June. NASA has been trying to revive the robot since the dust storm ended using both listening and command methods, the agency said in October. Engineers believe it is possible that a layer of dust on the rover's solar panels is blocking the sunlight needed to recharge the batteries. They did not lose hope, especially since the winds that normally occur in the period from November to January helped clear the rover's panels in the past. In any case, the six-wheel rover has exceeded its expected life span many times.

SPIRIT: The Opportunity twin should also last 90 days in extreme winters and sandstorms on Mars. But Spirit got stuck in the sand and stopped working in 2009. Like Opportunity, he landed on Mars in 2004, and on his nearly six-year mission returned about 124,000 photos of the surface of the red planet. Spirit is made up of recovered aluminum from the World Trade Center site, the towers in New York City that were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

PHOENIX LANDER: This stationary probe landed in the Martian Arctic in May 2008 and overcame its original three-month mission lasting five months. The Phoenix pioneer targeted a circumpolar region and used a robotic arm to dig, scoop, roast, sniff and taste the planet's soil. Among the first results were the verification of the presence of water ice in the basement of Mars.

CURIOSITY: The most modern and technically capable $ 2.5 billion vehicle landed on Mars in August 2012. It began its exploration inside the Gusev crater, a region where liquid water was abundant in the past. The new robot made numerous discoveries, including that ancient Mars might have supported living microbes. It is powered by a plutonium generator, so its operations were not affected by the dust storm in June. Earlier this month, it ran about 60 meters, pushing its total distance more than 20 km. He experienced a "memory anomaly" in September that engineers continue to diagnose.

HUMANS FOR MARS: NASA's dream of transporting humans to Mars is a mission that is very alive and resting in its next-generation Orion space capsule. NASA sent the Orion space capsule on test flights on top of a Delta IV Heavy rocket. NASA's long-range plan foresees the landing of astronauts first on an asteroid and then on Mars in mid-2030.


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