Mars Rovers Hit 5-Year Mark MSNBC

NASA’s Mars rovers were designed to last for at least 90 days on the Red Planet, and from the start, mission scientists hoped that they’d keep working well after their “warranty” expired. But few dared to predict that both Spirit and Opportunity would still be on the move five Earth years after they bounced to the surface.
To celebrate Spirit’s five-year anniversary, mission managers have released a sweeping new panorama of the rover’s winter refuge in Gusev Crater.
Spirit touched down, cushioned by airbags, on Jan. 3, 2004 (or Jan. 4, depending on your time zone). Since then it has traveled almost 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers). It spent the last few months waiting out the Martian winter near an intriguing light-colored formation nicknamed Home Plate.
“This last winter was a squeaker for Spirit,” John Callas, the rover mission’s project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a news release issued Monday. “We just made it through.”