Opportunity is a twin explorer to Spirit. Both explore the Martian surface. Both are part of NASA's Rover Mars Exploration Mission, which aims to collect geological evidence that demonstrates that there may be life, or that there was life, on the planet Mars.
Scientists say that the first photos that the Opportunity sent show a very different area around the Gusev Crater - on the opposite side of the planet - where cocked Spirit, on January 3, 2004. According to scientists, Opportunity shows extraordinary landscapes not seen before.
The two scout robots, equipped with six wheels for mobilization, are powered by solar batteries and equipped with tools for drilling rocks and analyzing soil samples, in addition to nine cameras, which are used during the three months of exploration. The photo shows a plain punished by the wind and studded with small rocks. The scene excited scientists, eager to send the Spirit to explore among the rocks to get evidence that the landing site was in a time flooded with water.
The planet Mars has a surface with many craters and channels of natural origin. The biological experiments performed have discovered an unexpected and enigmatic chemical activity in the Martian soil, but do not provide any clear evidence about the presence of live microorganisms in the soil. Mars is self-sterilizing, the combination of solar ultraviolet radiation that saturates the surface, the extreme dryness of the soil and the oxidizing nature of soil chemistry prevents the formation of living organisms in the Martian soil. However, the question about the existence of life on Mars in the distant past remains open.
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