“Opportunity has stayed very active this winter, in part because the solar arrays have been much cleaner than in the past few winters,” said Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
The view from the Opportunity rover as it explores Marathon Valley
“With healthy power levels, we are looking forward to completing the work in Marathon Valley this year and continuing onward with Opportunity,” Callas said.
Despite its amazing resilience, the intrepid rover is beginning to feel the effects of advancing age. It’s becoming harder to maneuver and has had issues with memory storage.
It also costs roughly $14 million each year to keep Opportunity running. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the initial $400 million it cost to build it and get it to Mars.
Opportunity continues to study the geology of Mars and provides scientists with a huge amount of insight into our rocky neighbouring planet.