The Opportunity rover from NASA, fifteen years ago this week, touched down on Mars. Because of the dust storm that knocked the rover out of communication with its controllers in the summer of 2018, officials are acknowledging that the life of the little robot might need to come to an end.
According to Steven Squyres’ statement, the principal investigator, for the New York Times on Friday, this could be the end of the rover. Even though its mission might end, it did what it was supposed to do.
In 2004 the Opportunity rover from NASA landed on Mars. Before launching it, scientists could not ask for more than 90 days from it. However, the rover decided to prove them wrong, and instead of lasting three months, its life evolved to 5,111 days which makes it almost a decade and a half old. After nearly 11 years of exploring on another planet, the rover deserves a retirement party.
Thanks to the spunky rover, the scientists know now more of the Red Planet. The immense scientific legacy of the rover helped NASA plan the mission of another rover called Curiosity. Hopefully, Opportunity’s successor will help broaden the vision of the scientist even more.
Unfortunately, not more than half a year ago, another dust storm began bothering the Opportunity rover. The little robot was in the middle of what New York Times called “one of the most ferocious storms on Mars in decades.” As the rover would charge from the Solar light that its panels absorbed, it could no longer live because it got covered in dust.
In addition to that, Steven Squyres told New York Times that the cute rover suffered an honorable death.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.