89 Days…

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Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, and back then it was hoped that she would survive for 90 days after that and perhaps drive a kilometre in that time. Today is Sol 5,198 of her 90 day mission, and she has driven more than 40km across the surface of the Red Planet.

However, today also marks 89 days since we last heard from Opportunity – in other words, we have now not heard from our rover for only a day less than her 90 day original mission target. The recent social media storm in support of Opportunity and her team has now died down, the media spotlight has swung away from Opportunity, and the attention of many high profile space reporters, journalists, bloggers and Tweeters has moved on too. So let’s all just take another moment to think about Opportunity, and send the MER team our very best wishes again. Here’s hoping that Oppy will wake up soon, so she can be brought back to full operation and can drive away from her parking spot, to make more discoveries and send us back more beautiful views like these (which regular readers will recognise as being images I’ve made myself from the raw B&W images sent back by Opportunity over the past few years)…

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