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NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 12th anniversary on Mars

A true oldie but goodie.

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When the Opportunity made its Mars landing on January 24th, 2004, NASA believed the rover would only last about 90 days, due to the Red Planet's dusty nature. But, thanks to unexpected winds which kept Opportunity's solar panels clean, that obviously never happened. This week, the aging rover celebrated 12 years on Mars, at least in terms of Earth time -- one Martian year is equivalent to roughly 1.9 of ours.

That's no easy feat, considering what NASA's had to do to keep Opportunity up and running smoothly, like reformatting its memory and pushing crucial software updates to it. Right now, NASA says the rover is living happily, examining rocks across Mars' Marathon Valley. Here's to many more years of Opportunity.

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