Opportunity rover finally fails

AutoBlogNASA is saying farewell to its Opportunity rover on Mars after having been out of communication with the robot for about a year. This will mark the end of a nearly 15-year mission on Mars for the rover. Goodbyes were sent on Twitter from engineers working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but a formal announcement NASA was just made today.

JPL engineers sent the final official transmission to the rover last night, but communications back to NASA ended last June, according to NASA. The reason for the loss of communication is due to a massive dust storm that blotted out the sky. Opportunity runs on solar power, so this was as good as a death sentence for the little rover. This storm in particular was one of the thickest NASA has ever seen. Once the storm had passed, engineers were hopeful that the sun would wake Opportunity up again. It had gone into hibernation mode as the internal battery slowly drained away. However, the sun appears to have not breathed new life into the rover, as radio silence continues.

The two Mars rovers were an incredible success, far beyond expectations. I don't think we're going to top that in terms of space exploration until Elon Musk takes the Heart of Gold to bring Opportunity back to Earth.

This entry was published Fri Mar 08 06:47:21 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-02-13 15:59:17.0. [Tweet]

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