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This paper will discuss the system level verification and validation test program for the surface capability of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). The Mars Exploration Rover project was implemented on an extremely challenging schedule of going from concept to launch in just three years. Although the cruise and entry, descent and landing (EDL) systems were based on the successful Mars Pathfinder mission of 1997, the MER rovers and their sophisticated science payload were a new development and the expectations for the surface capability were very high. The rover hardware and software were developed to allow certain functions to work in parallel to maximize the science that could be done each day on Mars. However this lead to complex behavioral interactions which had to be tested and verified before they could be used. An incremental test program was developed that first exercised and verified individual functions and then validated system capabilities in mission-like scenarios. The plans, execution and results of these mission-like surface system tests will be presented.