NASA's Mars Exploration Rover team received a 2019 Aviation Week Laureates Award in the category of "Space Science" at a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony in Washington, DC, on March 14.
The Mars Exploration Rovers were launched in 2003 and designed to last just 90 days. However, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission far exceeded expectations. Spirit operated for seven years, and its sister rover, Opportunity, ran for no less than 14 years, until it was seemingly silenced in June 2018 by a massive global dust storm. Former Earth and Planetary Sciences PhD student Abigail Fraeman, now JPL staff scientist and Deputy Project Scientist for the mission, accepted the award for the team. Professor Ray Arvidson from Washington University in St. Louis is the Deputy Principal Investigator.
Note: Headline photo shows all award recipients, including the Mars Exploration Rover team, at the March 14 black-tie event in Washington, DC.