NASA announced in the press conference that took place at 20.00 yesterday that Opportunity is no longer able to communicate with the Earth. After trying to get in touch with the rover for the last time, the US aerospace agency stated that the mission is ended. The head of the program, John Callas, commented:
The engineers knew that the end would come one day, but we did not imagine that the mission would last so long. Even if it's a car it's hard to say goodbye, it's moving.
The duration of the mission initially estimated in 3 months has crossed the milestone of 15 years. The reasons to be proud of the results achieved are not lacking – remember, for example, that thanks to Opportunity it was possible to confirm the presence of water on the Red Planet, collect a lot of information and data to deepen their knowledge. Without neglecting the numerous images sent: 217,000 photographs (including 15 panoramic 360 degrees).
Goodbye to Opportunity, the robot with the longest life among those sent from Earth to the surface of another planet, as defined by the NYT.
Original article – February 13th
There NASA could you give us "bad news" today at 20.00 Italian time. For that time, in fact, a public meeting has been scheduled during which the updates on the "health conditions" of the rover Opportunity, fresh (bitter) celebrations for the 15 years of life on Mars but that has not sent more signals on Earth for eight months. The sandstorm that had been unleashed on the red planet may have been fatal.
The briefing will be held from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Pasadena, California, and will therefore be broadcast in live streaming both on the NASA website (link in SOURCE) yes on the official YouTube channel. The latest updates will be provided on attempts to restore communications yesterday, but many fear that the summoning of this evening may bring bad news, given the large presence of managers and scientists of the American space agency who will attend the meeting.
Each of us can ask questions directly via social networks with the hashtag #askNASA or through the comments section on YouTube. Today we will finally know more about the fate of Opportunity, landed on Mars in the distant 2004.