In the past decades, NASA has launched many space missions into ultimate success. However, not many did achieve the same glory that Opportunity Rover brought to the world. On Wednesday, NASA announced that Opportunity Rover is officially dead and that the agency is discontinuing the mission. Being one of the longest missions from NASA, the Opportunity Rover has been on the Martian surface for around fifteen years.
NASA shared this information during a press conference, in which a number of media had participated. The agency had been trying to establish contact with Opportunity ever since it went silent and NASA added that the last effort to communicate with the rover went in vain. Opportunity had stopped responding to the base commands since the dust storm that Mars had seen a in the June of last year.
Since then, NASA has sent more than 830 rescue commands towards the mission and none of them received a response from the rover. Even the last message was not able to rouse the rover, which had stopped getting solar power due to the dust storm. In other words, even when the dust storm has ameliorated, the rover is not able to resume the basic functions.
“After 800+ attempts to contact @MarsRovers Opportunity, today we’re announcing the end of a successful Martian mission. Intended to explore the Red Planet for 90 days, Oppy outlived its mission lifetime by 14+ years,” tweeted Jim Bridenstine, about the successful fate of Opportunity Rover, which surprised even the creators by elongating its lifetime.
Launched back in 2003 and landed on the Martian surface on 25th of January, 2004, the life of Opportunity Rover is nothing less than revolutionary. In the course of time, it has made possible some of the unimaginable studies about Mars and its environment.