The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity are nearing another impressive milestone: Martian Odyssey: Rovers Set to Celebrate 7 Years on Red Planet.
Spirit got stuck in sand and hasn’t communicated since March of last year, but there’s hope that the arrival of Spring may provide a revival of sorts. Opportunity, however, is still going strong–not bad for being over 1300 “sols past warranty”. Better yet, we can hope for even more from the next generation rover scheduled to launch later this year, nicknamed Curiosity.
While robotic craft continue to play an important part in space exploration, hopefully their most important role will be paving the way for human exploration and permanent settlement.