The NASA announced Wednesday, February 13, the end of the mission of the rover Opportunity on Mars. Taken in a gigantic storm last June, he was unreachable since.
"Opportunity is already buried, it only remained to say goodbye," blow the New Scientist this Wednesday, February 13th. Victim of a huge sandstorm in June 2018, the operators of the NASA could not join their robot since and officially announced the end of its mission.
In January 2004, traces the British scientific publication, two rovers made by humans touched the ground of the red planet, Spirit and Opportunity. "The NASA hoped that at least one of the two would be more than 90 days old, explains the New Scientist. They have been largely underestimated. Spirit traveled the surface of Mars for nearly six years before being stuck, while Opportunity went wonderfully well into his fifteenth year before joining his twin. "
During all these years, the two robots have collected data essential to the vision that scientists have of Mars, as explained by a former driver of rovers, Scott Maxwel:
They gave us access to an entire planet. "
Before their arrival, the man saw Mars as a dry planet, devoid of water. "Everything changed when the rovers found evidence of the past presence of water on Mars, on several occasions," Write the New Scientist. And yet, during his mission, Opportunity would have traveled only 45 kilometers, exploring more than a hundred craters by the way, "Facing a freezing cold and many sandstorms", reports the British newspaper.
On June 10, Opportunity sent its last signal to Earth. "Since then, operators have been frantically trying to reach him with more than 600 calls asking him to switch on and call home", tells the story New Scientist. Without success.
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