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Nine years ago today, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory began their missions to Mars. On January 3rd, 2004 NASA’s first Mars rover, which was named Spirit, reached the Red Planet. Nine years later, the program is still going strong with a total of three rovers on Martian soil.
Spirit first landed on Mars at a geographical location known as Gusey crater. The robotic rover was contained in landing gear that consisted of many airbags. After bouncing across the terrain, the rover finally came to a stop, left the airbags behind, and began its journey.