January 21, 2014
NASA's Opportunity rover was built for a three-month mission on Mars, but continues to return valuable scientific data 10 years later. NASA will reflect on the rover's work in a news conference at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) Thursday, Jan. 23.
The event will originate from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and be carried live on NASA Television and streamed online.
Participants will be: -- Michael Meyer, lead scientist, Mars Exploration Program, NASA Headquarters, Washington -- Ray Arvidson, Mars Exploration Rovers deputy principal investigator, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. -- John Callas, Mars Exploration Rovers project manager, JPL -- Steve Squyres, Mars Exploration Rovers principal investigator, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Opportunity, one of NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers, reached the Red Planet Jan. 24, 2004 (PST). It landed three weeks after its twin, named Spirit. Both rovers made important discoveries about wet environments that could have supported microbial life on ancient Mars. Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010. Opportunity is continuing to provide scientific results, and currently is investigating the rim of a crater 14 miles (22 kilometers) wide.
For more information on the missions of Spirit and Opportunity, visit: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington