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Opportunity, Nasa's Longest-Running Mars Rover, Is Officially Dead

By Press Association

A false-colour image of the Mars landscape captured by Opportunity.

Nasa’s longest-running rover on Mars, Opportunity, has been pronounced dead, 15 years after it landed on the red planet.

The six-wheeled vehicle was built to operate for just three months but kept going and going until it was finally doomed by a ferocious dust storm eight months ago.

Flight controllers made numerous attempts to contact it and sent one final series of recovery commands on Tuesday night, accompanied by one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s I’ll Be Seeing You.

There was no response, only silence.

After 800+ attempts to contact @MarsRovers Opportunity, today we’re announcing the end of a successful Martian mission. Intended to explore the Red Planet for 90 days, Oppy outlived its mission lifetime by 14+ years. Join us live now: https://t.co/zJwTTpQNwp#ThanksOppypic.twitter.com/U4J26TfzDv

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) February 13, 2019

Remarkably agile until communication ended last June, Opportunity roamed a record 28 miles around Mars.

Opportunity and its long-dead twin rover, Spirit, found evidence that ancient Mars had water flowing on its surface and might have been capable of sustaining microbial life.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though – part of the robots’ programming involved spinning in tight circles to test nearby terrain and find new routes.

Humorously, depending on your age perhaps, that had the unfortunate consequence of drawing a certain shape on the surface, which when discovered by Reddit essentially crashed Nasa’s website.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/opportunity-mars-dead_uk_5c646ccbe4b09e2092c28373