To celebrate the Opportunity rover's 26th mile, NASA has released a time-lapse video, showing the robot's POV from the past eleven years.
Running a marathon, anyone would admit, is no easy task. It took NASA's Opportunity rover more than eleven years to complete 26 miles across the harsh landscape of everyone's favorite red planet, each moment of which filled with excitement, discovery, and challenge. To celebrate its robot's achievement, NASA has released a time-lapse video from the rover's own POV encompassing its entire journey.
Originally only intended to function for three months, Opportunity has beaten the odds and kept going for eleven years and change past its 'best-by' date. Its twin rover, Spirit, also outlasted expectations - it ceased operations, finally, in 2010 after getting stuck.
Last year Opportunity suffered what the space agency was calling "amnesia events," where it would fail to save date. That, like every other challenge the little robot that could has encountered, was solved. Stuck wheels, broken cameras, dying batteries - there is no end in sight for the machine, and still it provides us with new and exciting data on a regular basis.
Check out this gallery of images Opportunity has taken over the past several years, also courtesy of NASA:
Earlier this year, NASA produced another anniversary video for its rover:
Here's hoping Opportunity has eleven more years - at least - to go! Maybe it'll still be rolling around the hills by the time the first humans set foot on the red planet?