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

  • NASA

    Apollo 11 Moon Landing: Photos From 50 Years Ago

    50 photos of the historic Apollo 11 mission on the 50th anniversary of that “giant leap”.

  • Charles Platiau / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Crocodile Kiss, Glacier Blanket, Bear Cemetery

    Cliff diving in Beirut, “swan upping” in London, protests against Puerto Rico’s governor, underwater violin in Malta, flooding in Louisiana, the Winegrowers Festival in Switzerland, and much more

  • Corey Raffel / Audubon Photography Awards

    2019 Audubon Photography Awards

    Some of the best bird photography of the year—a collection of the 2019 winners and runners-up.

  • Ed Jones / AFP / Getty

    Photos: The 2019 Artistic-Swimming World Championships

    Scenes from above and below the water of the artistic swimmers at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in South Korea