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Spirit marks one year on Mars
Posted: Tue, Jan 4, 2005, 8:57 AM ET (1357 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) NASA celebrated Monday the first anniversary of the landing of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, a spacecraft originally expected to operate for just 90 days on the surface of the planet. Spirit, currently working its way through the Columbia Hills several kilometers from its landing site in Gusev Crater. Scientists said Spirit recently found a rock "unlike anything seen before on Mars", with jumbled textures that may have been caused by a meteor impact or volcanic explosion. The rover remains in good condition, although project engineers said random problems that could cripple the rover are always possible. Spirit's twin, Opportunity, will mark its first anniversary on Mars on January 24.
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