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Opportunity: 10 years on Mars

Happy Birthday, you glorious machine!

"NASA is celebrating 10 years of operation for its Opportunity rover on Mars. The six-wheeled vehicle landed on the planet's Meridiani plains on 25 January, 2004, at 05:05 GMT.

It has since trundled 38.7km across the surface, studying the local geology and returning over 170,000 images to Earth.

How much longer the rover can continue working in Mars' harsh environment is unknown, but Nasa is confident it will keep rolling a while yet. "The rover has some degraded components," explains John Callas, the manager of the agency's Mars Exploration Rover Project, which looks after "Oppy", as it is often called."



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