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NASA scientist honors Opportunity rover with a tattoo
NASA Opportunity mission was called off after the rover sending back signals.
A NASA scientist who worked on the Opportunity rover mission has honored the now dead robot with a tattoo that shows the final reading sent by the rover. The mission was officially called off by the US space agency after it stopped sending signals after the dust storm damaged the batteries of the rover. Opportunity spent a record-setting 15 years on Mars' surface.
1/ #ThanksOppy This tattoo means more to me than just Oppy. Of course, the biggest significance is this is Oppy’s final measurement. I studied tau (atmospheric optical depth) as a student researcher. Don’t worry, I consulted my advisor on the value before committing to the ink pic.twitter.com/vhShtDBR3Z— Keri Bean (@PlanetaryKeri) February 13, 2019
Keri Bean from Schertz, Texas is a mission operations engineer and worked as a tactical uplink lead for Opportunity. When the mission was expected to end, she committed to getting the tattoo done.
"When we first lost contact several team members joked about getting matching tattoos when 'Oppy' came back," Ms. Bean told the Press Association. "I decided that either when 'Oppy' came back or when the end of mission was declared, I would get a tattoo to honor 'Oppy'.
"I chose her final observation, tau = 10.8. Tau stands for atmospheric optical depth and is the variable being solved for in the equation. I studied tau in my undergrad and graduate career, so it was a perfect fit."
Bean also took to Twitter to post an image of the tattoo. The tweet reads: "Clearly 90% of the meaning is Oppy. But the other 10% is symbolizing my own personal 'dust storm' of last year."
Plenty of users on Twitter mourned the demise of Opportunity. The solar-powered rover was expected to travel only 1,000 meters on Mars, however, it managed to travel 28 miles and collected water evidence on the Red Planet.