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Happy birthday, Opportunity

Two weeks ago Opportunity had its 10th birthday. (In case you live under a rock, Opportunity is one of the robots roving Mars.)

In my opinion, this is quite an achievement for humanity. Opportunity should probably be brought to top of the list of the Wonders of the World. Except it’s not on this world…

Imagine a ten-year old car. What are the chances of a car surviving 10 years without any service and without breaking down? Add to that desert conditions (dust) and extreme temperatures (down to -40C at night, up to +40C during the day). Although it’s travelled only 38 km on land, to be fair for the expedition, one should add the distance from Earth, which varies between 54 and 401 million km.

For ten years, nobody has cleaned its solar panels. Let’s hope Opportunity will continue its journey for several more years without sharing the fate of its twin, Spirit, which probably froze to death during one of the Martian winters…

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