Virginia Air & Space Site Index
Mars Exploration Rover Gallery


Red Planet Rovers

Viking Lander represented cutting-edge 1970s technology. By contrast, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) represents technology of the 21st century, in which spacecraft are able to "think" for themselves and act autonomously. The vehicle in front of you is a full-scale model of MER.

Two MERs - Spirit and Opportunity - set down on Mars in early 2004 and began a systematic exploration of two starkly different regions of the planet. They traveled for miles and analyzed rocks and soil at hundreds of sites. Human controllers on Earth picked the objectives, but the rovers chose the best routes.

Time picture taken Sun Jun 24 09:35:06 2007
Location picture taken Space Gallery
Virginia Air & Space Center
Hampton, VA
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