Spirit and Opportunity are twin rovers that were sent to explore Mars. They landed in 2004, and their mission was seeking evidence about whether Mars might once have been capable of supporting life.
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Their mission was scheduled to last 90 days, but Spirit survived for six years and Opportunity is still operational.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) designed and built the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity as part of its Mars Exploration Rover mission. Spirit and Opportunity launched on 10 June and 7 July 2003, respectively. Spirit landed on Gusev Crater (a possible former lake) on 4 January 2004; Opportunity landed at the Meridiani Planum (where mineral deposits suggest a wet past) three weeks later. NASA JPL's Pete Theisinger was the Mars Exploration Rover project manager. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., was principal investigator for the Rovers' identical sets of science instruments. Following on the remarkable success of Spirit and Opportunity, NASA JPL developed even bigger and more advanced rovers: Curiosity and Perseverance.