May 17, 2017 05:02 PM EDT
Mars rover Opportunity, which been active in service for 13 years in Mars has reached the Perseverance Valley. The rover has already begun sending the data of the ancient valley to give further understanding of the fluid-carved valley.
The rover was launched on July 7, 2003, with its twin rover, Spirit. After six months of travel, Mars rover Opportunity landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004 in the Meridiani Planum, a plain located in the south of Mars equator. While its twin rover landed on the other side of the planet. Spirit was trapped in the soft sand in Mars in late 2009 and ended its mission in 2010, but Mars rover Opportunity continued its mission.
Originally, Opportunity will end its mission in 2015, but NASA decided to extend its mission. Subsequently, Mars rover Opportunity was directed to go to the Perseverance Valley as its main destination, according to NASA. By the end of April, the rover has reached the upper end of the Perseverance Valley.
Mars rover Opportunity holds the record as the rover with the longest mission on Mars. Over 13 years of its service, as reported by BGR, it still functions well and NASA continues to send Mars rover Opportunity to explore the red planet.
Its main destination, Perseverance Valley, is the ancient valley which was carved into the rim of Endeavour Crater billions of years ago. Scientists expect the picture taken by Mars rover Opportunity will help them to identify the process that formed the valley.
"The science team is really jazzed at starting to see this area up close," Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Mars rover Opportunity project scientist, Matt Golombek said, expressing his excitement to see the Perseverance Valley. He later expected the rover to be able to send the clues, in order "to help us distinguish among multiple hypotheses about how the valley formed."
Watch the footage from NASA below. The flick, taken three years ago, was celebrating the 10 years of Mars rover Opportunity on Mars.