Today, we say farewell to a little robot that went above and beyond for scientific exploration. The Mars Opportunity Rover has been officially declared dead after 15 years of faithful service.
What was initially meant to be a 90 day mission extended far beyond expectation as the pioneering robot (affectionately known as Oppy) just kept hustling and giving us a better insight into the surface of Mars than ever before.
NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover has been officially declared kaput after 15 years of surface exploration on the red planet.
Since it touched down on the surface on January 4th 2004, the Opportunity Rover has travelled more than 45km, and sent back over 217,000 images of the rough terrain. The robot was also credited with discovering evidence of water on Mars, a massive step in space exploration. This particular discovery lead to the belief that at one point, Mars may have been home to terrestrial life, which for obvious reasons, is a pretty bloody massive discovery.
Despite expertly transversing the rough Mars terrain and managing to get itself out of some pretty sticky situations, it was a dust storm in June 2018 that finally had Opportunity meeting its maker. After many attempts over the last few months to get in contact with the rover, NASA was unable to get a response. And so, today is the sad day that we finally declare the Mars Opportunity Rover officially dead.
In honour of its life and achievements, NASA released a highlight video so Opportunity may never be forgotten.
Humanity’s greatest explorers aren’t always human.
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) 13 February 2019
Godspeed little dude, you were pretty bloody amazing.