RIP Opportunity Rover | Forum

Maklarr4000 Meta
Maklarr4000 Feb 14
The longest-enduring extraterrestrial scientific mission has sadly come to an end, as NASA's Opportunity Rover has finally stopped operating more than 14 years beyond it's expected lifespan. Launched in conjunction with the identical Spirit Rover (which became mired in sand and then ceased functioning in 2011) the Opportunity Rover covered more than 30 miles of Mars, taking hundreds of thousands of photos, samplings, and readings which have helped shape our understanding about Mars, it's history, and engineering reliable things to operate in harsh conditions. This leaves the much larger and more modern Curiosity Rover alone on Mars to continue the ongoing mission to study the planet, and prepare a solid understanding of it for future human visitors. To say it was the hardest-working scientific space robot ever built is an understatement, and it certainly captured the hearts and imaginations of the denizens of the Internet. A somber farewell to an exceptional little robot!

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The Forum post is edited by Maklarr4000 Feb 14
Maklarr4000 Meta
Maklarr4000 Feb 18

Quote from Catie What happened? 

The rover team believes that a dust storm last summer covered the rover's primary solar system with dust, and it wasn't able to gather enough energy to keep it's power system warm. The batteries have likely failed at this point, so it's gone. Sad, but considering it was supposed to only last 90 days, it did some amazing work even the scientists that designed it couldn't have dreamed of.