NASA bids goodbye to record-setting Opportunity Mars rover

NASA finally says goodbye to the longest living Mars rover.


NASA's Opportunity rover which was meant to inspect Mars' surface for three months, has stopped operations after a record-setting 15-year run. NASA confirmed that the rover has stopped receiving or sending data after the dust storm damaged the batteries. After a final call out, the space agency called it quits on the mission.

NASA bids goodbye to record-setting Opportunity Mars rover


The engineers lost the contact with the rover on June 10 and have tried reaching it several times. The last known location of the rover is called Perseverance Valley, officials said. The golf cart-sized rover was built to cover only six-tenths of a mile (1 km), but ended up covering 28 miles (45 km) and lasting longer than any other robot to have stepped on the face of the Red Planet.

"It is, therefore, that I am standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude that I declare the Opportunity mission as complete," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

While its time on Mars, the rover gathered evidence to demonstrate the past life of the planet claiming it was wet and warm favorable to sustain life, NASA said.

Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004, just a few weeks after Spirit rover landed on the Red Planet. Spirit's stint on Mars ended in 2010 after getting stuck in soft soil. The Opportunity mission cost more than $1 billion, with about 300 JPL staff members dedicated to the mission.

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