NASA’S OPPORTUNITY ROVER OFFICIALLY DEFUNCT

“My battery is low and it is getting dark.”

Last transmission from Opportunity

The Mars rover, Opportunity, has officially been declared as defunct after 15 years on the surface of the Red Planet. The decision to declare the rover as defunct follows several months of failed attempts to regain connection with the rover after a sandstorm damaged the rover in June of 2018.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke of the good that Opportunity has achieved; saying, “It is because of trailblazing missions such as Opportunity that there will come a day when our brave astronauts walk on the surface of Mars”. Opportunity made planetfall on January 15th of 2004 and was originally expected to last only 90 sols (slightly longer than 90 Earth days). The four goals of the operation were to determine if the potential for life exists on Mars, to characterize the Mars climate and its geology, and then to prepare for a potential human mission to Mars.

Groups on social media platforms have taken to lamenting Opportunity’s demise which has been further fueled by rover’s last message. According to the space agency, the last words of Opportunity while it was being denied sunlight by a heavy dust storm was, “my battery is low and it is getting dark”

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