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The Road to Endeavour

Birthday Blues…

26 Jan 2019, 10:01 UTC
Birthday Blues…
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Last Thursday (24th) was my birthday – big number, don’t ask – but to be honest my mind was on a different anniversary: the following day, Friday, was another birthday of a kind – the 15th anniversary of Opportunity landing on Mars.
Yes, 15 years ago I got up at silly o’clock on a chilly morning to watch NASA TV’s live coverage of the second MER landing on Mars. With Spirit already down safely and returning spectacular photos, we were all a little punch-drunk on success and taking it for granted that Oppy would land trouble-free too. When the first images started to come in, showing Oppy had landed IN a small crater – her now famous “Cosmic Hole In One” – it was just wonderful…

And soon after she left the crater and began to rove. And she roved, and roved and roved across Mars for the next 14 years. She crossed vast deserts of ochre dust; rolled up to, drove down into and back out of ancient impact craters; discovered meteorites shining in the sunlight; watched the Sun rise and set thousands of times, and so much more…

After reaching Endeavour Crater Opportunity started to climb, and eventually ...

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