NASA’s Opportunity rover has worked flawlessly since its “hole-in-one” landing last Saturday. Today, it “stood-up”, stretching its wheels from its travelling position. It could roll off the lander for the final 10 feet of its journey onto the Martian surface as early as Saturday to explore the Martian bedrock outcroppings seen nearby.
Meanwhile, 6,600 miles away, the Spirit rover has been slowly recovering from what appeared to be a near-fatal software failure. NASA engineers are trying to wipe its flash memory of the data it has retrieved thus far in the mission. They are optimistic that this fix could completely restore the rover so it can continue exploring nearby rocks.
Spirit has transmitted its first black-and-white picture to Earth since the problems started on Jan 21. The picture shows the rovers robotic arm pressed up against a rock in exactly the same position it was in when the failures started more than a week ago.