Picture of the Day: NASA's Mars Rover Gets Back to Roving

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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After 19 weeks in one place, NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity hit the road -- well, not so much road as Martian ground -- now that Mars' winter is over and the sun is shining on Opportunity's solar panels once again. This was Opportunity's fifth winter on the planet, and it spent the time on an outcrop called Greeley Haven in Mars' Meridiani region. Next up for the little robot? An area a few meters north with a "bright-looking patch," possibly dust. "We haven't been able to see much dust in Meridiani," explained Opportunity science-team member Matt Golombek. "This could be a chance to learn more about it." Above, a map of the rover's 21.4 miles of travel on the planet's surface so far.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/picture-of-the-day-nasas-mars-rover-gets-back-to-roving/257305/