Mars Opportunity Rover, Expected to Last Only 90 Days, Celebrates 12 Years – Powered by CompactPCI

PICMG |

This week, the Mars rover Opportunity celebrated its 12th anniversary on the red planet, having  landed there on Jan. 24, 2004. The rover is still functioning, and has an exploratory mission over the winter in “Marathon Valley” in the Endeavour crater.

Opportunity is controlled by two CompactPCI computers, designed and built by BAE Systems.

When Opportunity first landed, the NASA team thought the harsh Martian environment would render it useless in a matter of months. But the golf cart-sized rover, powered by solar energy, is still collecting data today.

CompactPCI remains a vital and important technology for a wide range of applications, and is widely used in satellites and other space applications. It’s rugged and it works.

Congratulations to the NASA engineers and support teams, and BAE.

 

Joe Pavlat

PICMG