NASA Confirms Its Mars Robot Opportunity Has Died

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																	This dune-covered volcanic rock bed is one of the coolest places on Mars					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner

Science This dune-covered volcanic rock bed is one of the coolest places on Mars Mike Wehner

USA space agency NASA will make one final attempt to contact its Opportunity Rover on Mars late Tuesday, eight months after it last made contact.

Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and covered 28 miles (45 km) on the planet.

Yesterday, Nasa told the world that it's Opportunity Mars Rover was dead eight months after it was caught in a mega-powerful dust storm.

Plus, it had a good run - created to operate for 90 Martian days and cover just 1,000 meters on the planet, Opportunity went above and beyond, covering around 28 miles and sending information back for 15 solid years.

Some in the Martian exploration community criticized NASA for its plan to rouse the rover.

NASA believes the June dust-storm blocked out so much sunlight that the rover could no longer change its batteries.

Opportunity's equipment may have been compromised by the dust storm that struck while the rover was at a site called Perseverance Valley, officials said. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory declared the spacecraft dead after their latest attempt to revive the rover failed. "We listened every single day with the Deep Space Network, and we sent over a thousand recovery commands, trying to exercise every possibility of getting a signal from the rover", said John Callas, the project manager at JPL.

The JPL team tried using NASA's Deep Space Network and radio telescopes on Earth to communicate with Opportunity, but so far, contact has been unsuccessful.

Cornell University's Steve Squyres, lead scientist for both Opportunity and Spirit, considers succumbing to a ferocious storm an "honorable way" for the mission to end.




This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars.

"Opportunity" has not made a peep since 10 June. It was supposed to last for 90 days.so here we are 15 years later. Opportunity was created to explore and take pictures of Mars' Gale crater - thought to once have been a giant lake - and look for signs the planet once held life.

The rover, along with its partner, Spirit, landed on Mars in 2004 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover mission.

Back in 2013, when Oppy was nine years old, there were fears the rover was near the end of its life, with Mr Callas saying: "The rover could have a catastrophic failure at any moment".

The twin vehicles also pioneered a way of exploring the surface of other planets, said Lori Glaze, acting director of planetary science for NASA.

Opportunity discovered that Mars had an ancient climate that may have sustained life, and worked on the surface of Mars for 14 years, longer than any other robot.

NASA's Mars InSight lander, which touched down on Mars last November, has just finished deploying its scientific instruments and will be monitoring Mars' interior.

InSight and the next Mars rover mission, scheduled for 2020, are both seen as precursors for eventual human exploration of Mars, an objective NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said might be achieved as early as the mid-2030s.

Timed for a July or August launch, the as of yet unnamed rover will be used to seek signs of habitable conditions on Mars.

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