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An Overview of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission - Windows to the Universe

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This is what an artist thinks one of the MER rovers might look like on the surface of Mars.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA/JPL

An Overview of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission has sent two robotic rovers to the surface of Mars. The two separate spacecraft are exploring sites on opposite sides of Mars. One rover is exploring Gusev Crater. The other rover is exploring Meridiani Planum. Scientists think there is a good chance that there was water at each of these sites in the past. Places that have or had water are the best places to look for signs of life. The rovers have special instruments to look for signs of water.

The twin MER missions were launched in June and July of 2003. They made it to Mars in January 2004. The two rovers have been given names. The first is named "Spirit" and the second is called "Opportunity".

Last modified February 7, 2004 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF