There are now two rovers on Mars. Yesterday morning (UK time) the Mars Science Laboratory CURIOSITY touched down safely on Mars, and the internet almost melted with excitement.
For the first time in years, Oppy has company on the red planet.
Ok, so that “company” is on the other side of the planet – Curiosity’s landing site, Gale Crater, is halfway around Mars – and the two rovers will never, ever meet, but that’s not the point. There are now two rovers on Mars, exploring it on our behalf. That’s pretty magnificent.
We won’t hear much from Oppy for the next few days, as NASA’s attention is focussed, rightly, on her big sister around in Gale. But Oppy hasn’t been sent to her room to throw herself on her bed with a huge “I’m bored!” teenage sigh. She’s been given lots to do, lots to keep her busy, and while the media spotlight turns on Curiosity Oppy will keep on taking photos, keep on doing science, and keep on exploring. And once things have settled down in Gale, I’m sure Oppy will drive on, and keep driving for as long as she can. And yes, we will be with her every step of the way!
Here’s a new image from Opportunity, actually a mosaic of several colourised images, stitched together…
This blog – like Oppy – is going to “stand down” for a few days now. Not because I’m going to be writing about Curiosity instead, but because Im going to be “AFK” as we used to say in Ye Olden Days (if you’re a young cyber whippersnapper going “Huh?”, AFK was early netspeak for “Away From Keyboard”!). Normal service will be resumed within about a week.
You will all keep Oppy company for me, won’t you?