Target: Grades 6-8
Length: 56 minutes 46 seconds
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In summer 2003, NASA launched twin Mars Exploration Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity. The rovers landed in January 2004. They have survived over eight times longer than anticipated before launch. The MER mission has been an engineering triumph as the rovers have traveled many kilometers, venturing into and escaping out of deep craters. But the mission has also struck scientific gold. For the first time, robotic geologists have been on Mars, equipped with new scientific instruments, looking for - and finding - signs of ancient water.