Mars Exploration Rover - Spirit

Mission Summary

One of two rovers launched in 2003 to explore Mars and search for signs of past life, Spirit far outlasted her planned 90-day mission. Among her myriad discoveries, Spirit found evidence that Mars was once much wetter than it is today and helped scientists better understand the Martian wind.

In May 2009, the rover became embedded in soft soil at a site called "Troy" with only five working wheels to aid in the rescue effort. After months of testing and carefully planned maneuvers, NASA ended efforts to free the rover and eventually ended the mission on May 25, 2011.

› Learn more about Spirit's twin rover, Opportunity

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Panoramic camera (Pancam)
- Microscopic Imager (MI)
- Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES)
- Mossbauer Spectrometer (MB)
- Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS)
- Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT)
- Magnet arrays
- Hazard Avoidance Cameras (Hazcams)
- Navigation Cameras (Navcams)


Acronym: MER
 
Type: Lander/Rover
 
Status: Past
 
Launch Date: June 10, 2003
1:58 p.m. EDT (17:58 UTC)
 
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
 
Landing Date: January 04, 2004
04:35 UTC
 
Mission End Date: May 25, 2011
 
Target: Mars
 
Destination: Gusev Crater, Mars
 
Current Location: Troy, Mars
 
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