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NASA's Mars rover keeps on truckin' - hits driving milestone

Mars rover Opportunity hits mile number 12, heading for giant crater next.

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The Mars rover Opportunity just passed the 12-mile mark and has 7 1/2 to go before reaching the Endeavor crater. This 2004 image is a screenshot from a computer-generated animation showing the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity trenching a hole in the sandy soil at Meridiani Planum, Mars. Data taken during trenching by the rover's onboard sensors were used to create the movie.

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The NASA rover Opportunity has just passed the 12-mile mark on its marathon Mars mission.

Opportunity celebrated the driving milestone this week as it headed toward its next destination, Endeavour crater.

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The aging but plucky rover still has another 7 1/5 miles to go to reach the crater.

Since landing in 2004, Opportunity and its twin Spirit have outlasted their original three-month mission.

Unlike the freewheeling Opportunity, Spirit is stuck in a sand trap.

Its power has been declining with the coming winter and is expected to go into hiberation mode.

Before it became stuck, Spirit had logged nearly five miles on its odometer.

RELATED: NASA Mars rover Spirit to rove no more


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