The Opportunity rover is dead, at age 15.
After spending over 5,000 Martian days rumbling through the inhospitable red desert planet, NASA acknowledged on Wednesday that its sun-powered exploration rover hasn’t responded to over 600 attempts at contact since June 2018, and is presumed dead.
“I’m standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude to declare the Opportunity mission as complete,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Deprived of sunlight by a dust storm the size of North America, Opportunity came to rest in a place known as “Perseverance Valley,” which sits on the edge of the 14-mile wide Endeavor crater. It is here that the 400-pound machine, built by NASA engineers in Southern California, will now spend millennia getting blanketed in red dust, for the Martian winds don’t ever stop blowing. Its batteries, completely bereft of power, will not turn on again. Read more…