9 Years on Mars

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity just celebrated its ninth anniversary on Mars - a mission that was originally meant to last just 90 days. Although recently eclipsed in the news by its bigger brother Curiosity, Opportunity is still going strong and making valuable scientific discoveries. Launched into space in 2003, Opportunity bounced to a hole-in-one landing in a small crater on Mars' Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004. It has since spent 3,212 Martian days, or sols, on the surface, slowly moving from target to target, exploring craters, meteorites, unusual rock formations, and finding evidence of past water activity. Over the past 108 months, Opportunity has driven a total of 35.48 kilometers (22.05 miles) across Mars -- not bad for a mission designed to last only three months.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Bill Evans / United States Air Force Academy

    Photos of the Week: 5/23-5/29

    This week, we have photos of the oppressive heatwave in India, a high walkway made of musical glass planks in China, an aerial view of Chicago at night, rescued baby iguanas in Costa Rica, the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, and much more.

  • Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

    Scenes From Underground

    Caves and tunnels have always been part of human life.

  • Ramiro Gomez / Reuters

    Deadly Storms Hammer Mexico and Texas

    Devastating storms that brought tornadoes and 11 inches of rainfall to the Great Plains, Midwest, and northern Mexico, continue to cause serious flooding in Texas and parts of Oklahoma.

  • Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

    The Masks We Wear

    We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement.

Join the Discussion