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A rocket carrying Spirit blasts off from Florida on June 10, 2003.
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Image courtesy NASA.

Mars Exploration Rovers Blast Off
News story originally written on July 10, 2003

Two robots are going to Mars. The robots are six-wheeled vehicles that will explore Mars. They are called the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Rockets carrying MER blasted off from Florida.

MER will study rocks on Mars. They will try to find rocks that formed when water was around.

Each rover has a name. One is called Spirit. The other is named Opportunity. Spirit blasted off on June 10, 2003. Opportunity blasted off July 7, 2003. It will take Spirit and Opportunity six months to get to Mars. They will land on Mars in January 2004.

Last modified July 8, 2003 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA