NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover has had a good run. It has helped scientists understand a lot more about Mars. The rover landed on Mars in 2004 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. 15 years later, NASA has now confirmed that Opportunity is officially dead. Let’s have a moment of silence for this amazing robot.
It’s amazing that the rover has been able to operate for so long. It was expected to have a total lifespan of just 90 days. Instead, it stayed alive for 15 years. The Opportunity rover traveled over 28 miles on the Martian surface from the Eagle crater where the mission started to the larger Endeavour crater.
NASA confirmed that the Opportunity rover is no longer functional as the Mars Exploration Rover team made the final attempt to reach the rover last night and was unsuccessful.
NASA hasn’t heard from Opportunity since June 10th, 2018 despite trying to contact it since then. They think it was caught in a dust storm on Mars which blocked the rover’s solar panels. Researchers tried to ping Opportunity many times and continued to listen over the radio waves to catch its signal again but nothing. It did do an admirable job while it was functioning.