Pre-Launch Activities:

This image taken at JPL shows engineers testing the route by which the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will roll off its lander. Opportunity touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars on Jan. 24, 9:05 p.m. PST, 2004, Earth-received time.
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This image taken at JPL shows engineers testing the route by which the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will roll off its lander. Opportunity touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars on Jan. 24, 9:05 p.m. PST, 2004, Earth-received time. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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  • selection of the landing sites
  • assembly and testing
  • shipping the spacecraft to the Cape