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One of the best and enduring Mars rovers Opportunity Rover seems to be died because it stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018.
The rover is considered as the most successful missions because it is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Mars.
The last communication with the Opportunity rover was on June 10. “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,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “And when that day arrives, some portion of that first footprint will be owned by the men and women of Opportunity, and a little rover that defied the odds and did so much in the name of exploration.”
Opportunity rover traveled more than 28 miles (45 kilometers) by the time it reached its most appropriate final resting spot on Red planet.
“For more than a decade, Opportunity has been an icon in the field of planetary exploration, teaching us about Mars’ ancient past as a wet, potentially habitable planet, and revealing uncharted Martian landscapes,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Whatever loss we feel now must be tempered with the knowledge that the legacy of Opportunity continues – both on the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover and InSight lander – and in the clean rooms of JPL, where the upcoming Mars 2020 rover is taking shape.”
The final report, sent via the 70-meter Mars Station antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Complex in California, ended a multifaceted, eight-month recovery strategy in an attempt to compel the rover to communicate.
“We have made every reasonable engineering effort to try to recover Opportunity and have determined that the likelihood of receiving a signal is far too low to continue recovery efforts,” said John Callas, manager of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project at JPL.
Source: Text; NASA
Image credit; NASA
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