NASA's Opportunity Rover, the third robot hiker to land on Mars, changed our understanding of the Martian landscape, geology, atmosphere, and history. NASA announced its mission on Wednesday, officially ending the rover's life. The brave robot went through the Martian surface for about 5,515 days, just over 15 years.
During a press conference, NASA announced that Opportunity had made no recent attempt to contact them on Tuesday. A planetary dust stormwith Opportunity on June 10, 2018, to prevent his solar cells from storing electricity. Since then over 830 rescue commands have been beamed to the rover.
On Tuesday night, despite the submission of orders and Billie Holiday's You to Mars via the Deep Space Network, the rover could not be awakened.
"I learned this morning that we have not heard anything," said Thomas Zurbuchen, the chief administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, at a press conference.
"That's why I stand here with deep appreciation and gratitude [and] I declare the opportunity mission completed, "he concluded.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine commented on Twitter.,
Opportunity's story is one of resilience, discovery and wonder. It is a record breaker, a testament to the skills of NASA engineers, scientists and leaders who have built, worked and piloted the Rover for over 14 years. The final resting place is on the western edge of the Endeavor crater, in a gully called the Perseverance Valley Science Team.
The rover launched on July 7, 2003 and landed on January 25, 2004 in Meridiani Planum on Mars. His original mission should take a little over three months. However, the rugged rover swept across Mars for nearly 15 years. The distance of about 45 kilometers (about 45 kilometers) is the farthest distance a robot can reach outside the planet.
It was the second of two rovers sent to the planet in 2003 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER). The first rover, Spirit, was stuck in a sand trap in 2009. NASA announced that its mission was completed in 2011.
Opportunity made several important discoveries on Mars, encountered the first meteorite found on another planet, and revealed that Meridiani Planum was once immersed in water, exploring over 100 impact craters and countless breathtaking panoramas of a nearly 34 million kilometer distant planet provided.
After landing in 2004, the robot the size of a golf cart began its journey into the Endurance Crater. He spent six months doing a comprehensive study of the rock and sand dunes. Between 2006 and 2008, the opportunity was set for the 800-meter Victoria Crater (730 m), which shows how water could enter and leave the region billions of years ago.
In 2011, after three years, she reached the Endeavor, a 13.7-mile impact crater. It discovered a bright mineral vein of gypsum. At that time, Steve Squyres, a lead investigator at the Mission, said, "This tells a nasty story that water was flowing through subterranean breaches in the rock." It also made a picture of the infamous "Dust Devils", hurricanes that occasionally appeared on the Martian surface.
The journey was not without fear. In 2005, Opportunity was dumped in a dune – a destiny that had crippled and finally claimed its robot twin. On Earth, NASA worked to mimic the soil of Mars before making cautious maneuvers to release Opportunity. The Rover survived its first dust storm in 2007, suffered from irregular wheel problems and worked with a problematic robotic arm throughout its expedition.
Nevertheless, it seemed that the intrepid robot researcher could not switch anything off. On his 5,000th march, he celebrated his first selfie.
Opportunity remains inactive in the Perseverance Valley and is occasionally spied on by a passing orbiter – or perhaps picked up and adored as a pioneer in the distant future, paving the way for the first humans to reach or even reach Mars.
"Because of groundbreaking missions like Opportunity, there will be a day when our brave astronauts walk the Martian surface," said Bridenstine.
The robot is survived by the NASA Curiosity Rover, which is the only active rover on the Martian surface. NASA will come to thatand , the rover of the European Space Agency, due to launch in 2020.
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