Opportunity landed three weeks before its twin, Spirit. Although Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010, Opportunity is still providing scientific results.
I remember when I attended a Tech Museum event (See Spirit and Opportunity) held during an Embedded Systems Conference (Now DesignWest). It was a remarkable chance to take in the video in the IMAX theater and to meet Steve Squyres, scientific principal for the rover mission. I learned about the challenges involved in building, launching, and landing the rovers. Opportunity reached Mars on January 24, 2004.
There is a news conference scheduled for today on NASA TV, but it will also be streamed online. The conference participants include:
Michael Meyer, lead scientist, Mars Exploration Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington
Ray Arvidson, Mars Exploration Rovers deputy principal investigator, Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
John Callas, Mars Exploration Rovers project manager, JPL
Steve Squyres, Mars Exploration Rovers principal investigator, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Opportunity landed three weeks before its twin, Spirit. While Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010, Opportunity is still providing scientific results, and currently is investigating the rim of a crater 14 miles (22 kilometers) wide. This is amazing since the rovers were built in the hope that they would transmit for a full 90 days!
The briefing will be Webcast live at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT). Click here. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink, and scheduling, click here.