On This Day in Space! Jan. 3, 2004: Spirit Rover Lands on Mars


On Jan. 3, 2004, NASA’s Spirit rover landed on Mars!

The Spirit rover, also known as Mars Exploration Rover 2, this was the first of NASA’s twin Mars rovers to land on the Red Planet. The other was named Opportunity. These rovers were designed to last just 90 days on Mars, but Spirit lasted more than six years! It’s mission ended in 2011 after the rover got stuck in deep Martian sand. 

It touched down at the Gusev crater, where scientists believed to be an old lake bed that was once filled with water. NASA named the landing site Columbia Memorial Station to honor the astronauts who were killed in the Columbia shuttle disaster less than a year earlier. 

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.

On This Day in Space Archive![embedded content]

Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

Source: space.com

LikedLiked