Here’s the quick version: the rover was knocked out in June by a dust storm. NASA has been trying to contact it ever since. The rover exceeded expectations and lasted longer than intended.
I’ve got a really funny joke to tell, ready? What do you call a rover that stops responding? Dead. Which exactly describes my boy, Opportunity, this past Wednesday.
You might be asking yourself, what the heck is Opportunity? Well, it’s a real handsome-looking rover. Let me correct, it was a real handsome-looking rover until Mars said “Get Off My Lawn!”
The rover has been dead for a long time, knocked out by a storm. Now, these storms aren’t your typical April showers. These storms are wild dust nightmares. In June, Mars decided that it’s gonna blow up a storm. Unfortunately for Opportunity, it’s stuck on Mars.
The storm knocked out the rover’s communications, and Opportunity has ghosted NASA ever since. NASA has repeatedly tried sending messages but to no avail. On Wednesday they concluded that Opportunity is dead.
We are all sad, yet proud. Opportunity was designed to last only 90 sols (Martian days), but it explored the Red Planet for almost 15 years! It took a global dust storm to knock the rover out.
Opportunity’s discoveries led to the future successes of the Curiosity rover and InSight lander; it returned over 200,000 color photos and found evidence of ancient water on Mars. That’s a victory for taxpayer dollars!
Long live, Opportunity!
Post by Farouk Charkas