Opportunity was launched from Earth on July 7th, 2003 and landed 3 weeks after its twin rover, Spirit, touched down on the planet. They shared the mission of studying the chemical and physical composition of various sites around Mars to determine whether water ever existed or there were signs of possible life.

Both rovers found evidence of past water, while Opportunity discovered a series of rocks appearing laid down at the shoreline of an ancient northern ocean.

Even thought the rovers were sent out for a 3 month mission, but they continued to operate until they stopped sending signals back to Earth.

Opportunity continued to explore the surface until June 10, 2018, when a planetwide dust storm covered Mars and the rover. Up to its demise, it had covered 45 km over 14 years, breaking records for both distance driven and mission time spent on another planet.

Other notable events on January 24th:

In 1984, the Apple Macintosh 128K personal computer goes on sale.

In, 1946 the United Nations General Assembly passes its first resolution to establish “a Commission to Deal with the Problems Raised by the Discovery of Atomic Energy.”

In 1848, the California Gold Rush begins, with a total of 300,000 people traveling to California in search of treasure.

In 1835, the Great Revolt (aka the Malê Revolt) takes place in Brazil, where slaves rebel against the Brazilian government in effort to end slavery.

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity/ NASA