NASA said that it will extend the missions of the Mars rovers for another 18 months, till September 2006. The space agency said that the rovers have proved their value with major discoveries about ancient watery environments on Mars that might have harboured life.
"We are extending their mission through September 2006 to take advantage of having such capable resources still healthy and in excellent position to continue their adventures," NASA's deputy associate administrator Gnassem Asrar said in a release.
The original missions on Mars lasted for three months and since then the rovers have performed 11 months of extensions. The original mission cost $820 million and the two extensions have cost $15 million. NASA didn't report the cost of the new mission extension.