Mars Rovers’ mission extended

OpportunityNASA announces that the Spirit rover has exceeded its mission goals of 90 continuous Martian days of operation since landing, with over 600 meters of the Martian surface covered. NASA applies for, and receives approval on, a plan to keep Spirit and Opportunity roving through September, almost tripling the rovers’ planned life span. The extended mission, made possible by a budget boost of $15 million, will give engineers the chance to try handing control over to the Rovers’ built-in systems, and it’ll afford a greater opportunity to examine the unusual rocks and evidence of past bodies of water on the Martian surface.