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How NASA's Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity Work (Infographic)

How the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers work.
For ten years the robots have roved across Mars, making exciting discoveries about water in the planet's past. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

Sent to Mars to conduct a 90-day investigation, both of the Mars Exploration Rover vehicles far outlasted engineers' expectations. They launched in 2003 and both arrived at Mars in January 2004. The Spirit rover operated for five years, finally expiring during a cold Martian winter. The Opportunity rover is still making discoveries in 2014.

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Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.