Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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NASA makes its last attempt to communicate with Opportunity on Mars before declaring its definitive loss

The American aerospace agency NASA announced that the last attempt to resume contact with the robot Opportunity on Mars it would have taken place eight months after his last message and they practically lost it forever.

NASA explained that the last attempts to communicate with the explorer occurred late Tuesday afternoon when they launched a final series of recovery commands, in addition to those of more than a thousand already sent.

For this Wednesday an information meeting was scheduled with the head of the agency and with all those responsible for the Opportunity mission, which should be declared dead, 15 years after his arrival on the red planet.

The probe stopped transmitting information since June 10, 2018 after an intense dust storm. A thick dust darkened the Martian sky in the middle of last year and blocked for months the sunlight from the photovoltaic panels of the device.

Since then, engineers have tried to get the robot's response through radio channels.

Opportunity landed in 2004 on Mars and traveled 28 miles (45 kilometers) on the red planet, securing a place in history as a mythical mission, which was initially scheduled for 90 days.

Team members are examining Opportunity's achievements, such as having confirmed that once water ran on Mars. The probe is the one that had lasted the longest on Mars.

Your twin sister, the Spirit probe, was declared dead in 2011, a year after getting stuck in the sand and ceasing communication.

Both probes exceeded life expectancy and achievements, on opposite sides of Mars. The ships, the size of a golf cart, were designed to perform geological activities for only three months after they descended on Mars in January 2004, inside air-cushioning bags that bounced off the red planet. The probes had taken off from Cape Canaveral with a month difference in 2003.

It's no easier to say goodbye to Opportunity than Spirit, project director John Callas told the AP agency.

"It's like a loved one who is missing, and one keeps the hope that he will appear and be healthy," he added. "But every day that passes decreases that possibility and at some point you have to say 'enough' because life goes on."

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