Science

NASA’s Opportunity Rover is Technically No more

NASA reached out one final time to the Opportunity rover on Mars, and the attempt met with silence last night. The agency declared that the storm-struck rover no more exists. Officials arranged a press conference at 2 PM ET to announce the news. The Mars Opportunity rover stopped sending signals eight months ago. A sand storm that occurred in May 2018 on the Red planet is responsible for Opportunity’s demise. The sand deposited on probe’s solar panels obstructed its charging process. NASA received the last message from the rover on 10th June 2018. Opportunity’s last transmission was a bunch of data, but it strongly revealed that the battery is low and it’s getting dark. Its broadly accepted that the probe ran out of power amid the dust storm. The rover failed to exit hibernation after stabilization of storm.

NASA applied hundreds of experimental techniques to contact the rover since its shut down back in June. The demise of Opportunity indirectly ends NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program. The mission started in June 2003. Twin robots, Opportunity, and Spirit docked to the Red planet from Cape Carnival. Spirit finished its journey at seven years of age, previously in 2011. But Opportunity kept on going on the barren Red planet. It traveled about 45.16 kilometers across the Martian land. The rover initially designed for 90 Martian days, survived for fourteen-and-a-half years.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said he would never forget the outstanding work of Opportunity. It changed the agency’s knowledge and perception of the red planet. On one side it’s a sad end, but on another hand, Opportunity lived a successful and productive life. The probe helped in some significant discoveries about the Red Planet. It revealed that Mars once held water oceans, and explored atmosphere and space form its unique standpoint. NASA has learned so much about the Red Planet from Opportunity. Mars, of course, is not immediately without a resident. Another rover is present on the Martian land. It is the Insight lander which touched the red soil last year. Mars 2020 rover is on its way to launch on the Red Planet.

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