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Last Updated : Feb 14, 2019 04:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NASA announces the end of Opportunity: A glimpse of Mars rover that wandered the Red Planet for 15 years

Adios Opportunity!

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NASA on February 13 announced that its Opportunity Rover mission is complete after the rover failed to respond despite repeated trials since August 2018. (Image: AP)
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NASA on February 13 announced that its Opportunity Rover mission is complete after the rover failed to respond despite repeated trials since August 2018. (Image: AP)

During a press conference, the space agency inferred that a planet-encircling dust storm cut off communications with Opportunity on June 10, last year, disabling its solar panels from storing power. Since then NASA has beamed over 830 unanswered rescue commands. (Image: Reuters)
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During a press conference, the space agency inferred that a planet-encircling dust storm cut off communications with Opportunity on June 10, last year, disabling its solar panels from storing power. Since then NASA has beamed over 830 unanswered rescue commands. (Image: Reuters)

In a last-ditch attempt the Rover team, on February 12 sent a transmission of commands and Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You to Mars via the Deep Space Network, however, Opportunity could not be roused. (Image: Reuters)
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In a last-ditch attempt the Rover team, on February 12 sent a transmission of commands and Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You to Mars via the Deep Space Network, however, Opportunity could not be roused. (Image: Reuters)

The robotic rover, which wandered the surface of the red planet for over 15 years (5,515 Earth days), was launched by NASA in July 2003 as a part of its Mars Exploration Rover program. (Image: AP)
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The robotic rover, which wandered the surface of the red planet for over 15 years (5,515 Earth days), was launched by NASA in July 2003 as a part of its Mars Exploration Rover program. (Image: AP)

Responsible for much of our understanding of the Martian landscape, geology, atmosphere and history, the Opportunity was originally intended to last just over three months. However, the gritty robot continued its mission travelling nearly 45 km on the red plains-- the farthest distance accomplished by any extra-planetary robot. (Image: Reuters)
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Responsible for much of our understanding of the Martian landscape, geology, atmosphere and history, the Opportunity was originally intended to last just over three months. However, the gritty robot continued its mission travelling nearly 45 km on the red plains-- the farthest distance accomplished by any extra-planetary robot. (Image: Reuters)

Since landing on Meridiani Planum, a plain on Mars, the golf-cart-sized robot made several landmark discoveries on the Red Planet. From stumbling upon the first meteorite found on another planet to discovering that Meridiani Planum was once immersed in water, Opportunity's journey is a testament to the sheer dedication and scientific prowess of NASA. (Image: Reuters)
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Since landing on Meridiani Planum, a plain on Mars, the golf-cart-sized robot made several landmark discoveries on the Red Planet. From stumbling upon the first meteorite found on another planet to discovering that Meridiani Planum was once immersed in water, Opportunity's journey is a testament to the sheer dedication and scientific prowess of NASA. (Image: Reuters)

Whilst being on Mars, Opportunity had to overcome some major hurdles. Hurdles where its predecessors had sunk. In 2005, the rover got stuck in a dune but was eventually rescued after NASA extensively worked to mimic Martian soil, helping Opportunity to carefully manoeuvre its way out of trouble. It also survived its first dust storm in 2007, grappled with intermittent wheel problems and toiled with a problematic robotic arm throughout its expedition. (Image: Reuters)
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Whilst being on Mars, Opportunity had to overcome some major hurdles. Hurdles where its predecessors had sunk. In 2005, the rover got stuck in a dune but was eventually rescued after NASA extensively worked to mimic Martian soil, helping Opportunity to carefully manoeuvre its way out of trouble. It also survived its first dust storm in 2007, grappled with intermittent wheel problems and toiled with a problematic robotic arm throughout its expedition. (Image: Reuters)

Opportunity now lies dormant in the Perseverance Valley. It is survived by NASA's Curiosity rover, which is now the only active robot on Mars. (Image: AP)
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Opportunity now lies dormant in the Perseverance Valley. It is survived by NASA's Curiosity rover, which is now the only active robot on Mars. (Image: AP)

First Published on Feb 14, 2019 04:17 pm
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