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June 06, 2005

After 5 weeks, $400-million, Mars probe finally breaks free of sand dune

From Fox News...

The Mars rover Opportunity resumed rolling freely across the Martian surface Saturday after scientists freed it from a sand dune where it had been mired for nearly five weeks, NASA officials said.

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the mission, cheered when images beamed back to Earth showed the rover's wheels were free.

"We've got a working rover on Mars that cost $400 million to build and ... keep working," project manager Jim Erickson said. "I'd like to wear it out rather than lose it."

You know, just yesterday morning I debated over parking in the sand-filled, volleyball court or the dirt next to it when I arrived at church. Now it looks like I made the best choice by parking on the dirt, because if a $400-million Mars probe takes five weeks to get out of the sand, me and my $1,500, 1994 Ford Taurus might be stuck there for centuries. But then again, it would just be me getting it out, not a bunch of over paid Jet Propulsion Laboratory geeks, so that might have made a big difference.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 6, 2005 08:38 AM

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