NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this image in preparation for the first autonomous selection of an observation target by a spacecraft on Mars (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This false color view results from the first observation of a target selected autonomously by a spacecraft on Mars (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University)
Images taken through three of the filters in Opportunity's new software are combined into this approximately true-color view of the rock (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University)
NASA has given its Opportunity Mars Rover the ability to make its own choices about which rocks to observe
NASA’s Opportunity is a Mars Rover that just won’t die. In fact, Opportunity is just getting better – and smarter – with age. Originally slated for a 90-sol (that’s 90 Mars days) mission when it landed at Meridiani Planum on Mars on January 25, 2004, Opportunity is still turning up for work and functioning effectively in its seventh year on the red planet. And unlike some of us who are losing our faculties as we age, Opportunity has been given a new capability to make its own choices about whether to conduct additional observations of rocks that it spots on arrival at a new location.
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