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Mars Exploration Rovers


Spirit and her twin Opportunity are designed to study the history of climate and water at sites on Mars where conditions may have once been able to have life.

Each rover is fitted with intruments to read the geological record at each site to see how water effected that area and if the conditions were suitable for life.

Launch Site

Cape Canaveral Air force Station F.L.A.

Launch Vehicle

Delta 11 7925

Spacecraft Mass

Total mass at launch was 1,062 kg and the rover weighs 174 kg.

Spacecraft Instruments

Here is a list of the instruments fitted on the rovers :

Panoramic cameras

Miniature thermal emission spectrometer

Mossbauer spectrometer

Alpha particle x-ray spectrometer

Microscopic imager

Rock abrasion tool

Magnet rays

Spacecraft Power

The rovers are powered by solar panel and a lithium battery system provided 140 watts on Mars surface.

Total Cost

Aproximately $820 million in total consisting aproximately of $645 million in spacecraft development and science instruments . $100 million in launch and $75 million in mission operations and science processing.

Extra Information

Spirit traveled 500 million kilometers on its journey to Mars.

Both rovers were designed to last 92 days.

Spirit lasted 6 years and Opportunity is still functioning after 7 years after landing.

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