KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Nine-year-old Sofi Collis (left) is congratulated by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe for selecting the names of the Mars Exploration Rovers -- "Spirit" and "Opportunity" -- during a press conference. The names Sofi suggested were chosen from more than 10,000 student entries in an essay contest managed for NASA by the LEGO Company. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.
Created around the same time