Concluding an incredible 15 years of exploring, surveying, and laying the groundwork for future missions on the surface of Mars, NASA’s Opportunity Rover’s mission has finally come to a close. Following thousands of commands attempting to restore the rover, one last call was made to Opportunity on February 12, 2019, before NASA announced the end of Opportunity’s mission, its final communication received on June 10, 2018. Rest easy, world explorer.
Originally intended to function for a mere 90 days, the mission stretched on for 15 years, gathering data on the rugged surface before a planet wide dust storm engulfed the solar powered rover in June 2018, obstructing its solar panels, its primary source of power. After the dust settled, scientists at NASA hoped the rover would continue to function, but to their dismay, it remained silent.
Designed only to travel only 1000 meters on a lifespan of 90 days, Opportunity surpassed all scientific expectations in exceeding its lifespan by 60 times and traveling over 28 miles (45km) on the Red Planet.
Opportunity’s final resting place is the region called Perseverance Valley, a suiting name.