12 Years on Mars

NASA's Mars rover, Opportunity just celebrated its 12th 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 4,270 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 144 months, Opportunity has taken more than 200,000 images, and driven a total of 26.50 miles (42.65 kilometers) 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

  • Chris McGrath / Getty

    Scenes From Underground

    Recent subterranean scenes from around the world

  • Christopher Furlong / Getty

    France Dismantles 'The Jungle' in Calais

    A small camp in Calais, France, housing nearly 8,000 migrants hoping to cross into England, is being evacuated and torn down in what French authorities are calling a “humanitarian” operation.

  • David Goldman / AP

    Photos of a Divided America

    For much of the past year, Associated Press photographers have been gathering images of the people and places at the heart of multiple issues dividing Americans this election year.

  • Benjamin Grant / Daily Overview / Amphoto Books / DigitalGlobe

    The Awesomeness of Earth from Above

    Can satellite images of our planet's varied terrain make humanity's impact apparent?

Join the Discussion