Today in 2003, NASA launched the Mars Exploration Rover – A, or Spirit.  It took nearly 7 months for the rover to land on Mars, and once it did it began its planned 90 day exploration mission. Spirit would go on to last 2,269 days, sending its last transmission on March 22, 2010. During its run, Spirit (and its counterpart Opportunity, which landed on the opposite side of Mars) was able to collect a wide array of data about Martian weather, terrain, mineral deposits and layout. In honor of its accomplishments, asteroid 37452 was renamed Spirit.


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons