Our robots are equipped tools that leave behind distinctive marks on the fourth planet from the Sun. Here’s how those tools have changed over time to leave a more lasting impression on Mars, and what we can expect from the robots of the future.
The Opportunity rover has been trekking across the Martian surface since 2004, but this past Sunday its odometer clicked past the 25-mile (40-km) mark, establishing a new off-world distance record. It's a remarkable achievement — so whose record did it smash?
Not to be outdone by Curiosity, the Opportunity rover has made one of its most significant scientific discoveries to date. A recent analysis of clay minerals indicates that neutral water once existed on Mars — water that could have been suitable for life.
It's one of the most impressive photographs of Mars' Endeavour crater ever taken, but the image featured here is special for another reason, as well: it features the photographer (or, at least, the photographer's shadow).
For the last three years, NASA's Opportunity Rover has been slowly making its way to Mars's Endeavour Crater, and now it's finally made it. Here's one of the first photographs from this alien crater...but the real work is just beginning.