The Mars Rovers’ Mission has been extended by NASA into September. I already knew there were constraints of the Harsh Martian environment, but I didn’t know that the rovers could be expected to last as long as the new mission end.
There are several factors that limit the life of the Mars rovers. First, martian dust continues to build up on the solar panels, limiting the power intake. Additionally, as time goes by and the seasons change on Mars, the sun is getting lower and lower on the horizon, cutting down the power the rover can draw from it.
I wonder if the Rovers will last and the mission will be re-extended, after the 10 day shutdown period.
Mars managers chose to extend the mission through September 13 because the rovers will be forced to take a break of about 10 days when communication with the rovers will be blocked by the sun.
A Map of Spirit’s path and some of Opportunity’s future targets appears in the extended comments
Path of Spirit
Opportunity current and potential targets