The car-sized Mars rover ceased all communications with Earth in June 2018, when a planet-wide storm engulfed Mars. Now after 15 years of exploring the surface of the Red Planet, NASA has finally pulled the plug on the mission. The sad announcement came after NASA's engineers have spent all available options to try and revive Opportunity. On Wednesday, February 13, the US space agency said Opportunity stood at the forefront of Mars and would be sorely missed.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "It's because of trailblazing missions such as Opportunity that will come a day when our brave astronauts walk on the surface of Mars
"And when that day arrives, some of that first footprint will be owned by the men and women of Opportunity, and a little rover that defied the odds and did so much in the name of exploration. "
But the already gloomy news form of NASA was made worse when the space agency revealed Opportunity's last communique with Earth
As the Martian storm descended on the rover and the skies were choked by all sunlight, the solar powered Opportunity messaged NASA saying: "My battery is low and it's getting dark."
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Twitter user Giddy, @giddthegoat, tweeted:
" She was so scared her last message was, "My battery is running low and it's getting dark, like how depressing is that? "Thank you for helping us discover for 14 years, Opportunity. Missing you. "
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Jemimah Violette, @ahoyjamie, said: "When Opportunity rover said," My battery is low and it's getting dark, I felt that. "
Maxwells Demon , @yoonmims, said: "Love how the Mars Opportunity rover was supposed to go on a 90-day mission and it has survived for 15 years. Truly an icon. "
Khaliday Mirany, @Khalid_Mirany, said:" It was a very heart-saddening event
"The Opportunity rover that had been on Mars since 2004 for only 90 days mission, surpassed everyone's expectations would live for more than 14 years in his mission, finally came to a stop.
(Image: NASA Opportunity rover: Mars rover "title =" NASA Opportunity rover: Mars rover "data-w =" 590 "data-src1 =" https: //cdn.images. express.co.uk/img/dynamic/151/590x/secondary/Nasa-opportunity-mars-rover-last-message-opportunity-last-words-1740487.jpg?r=1550276484104 "data-media1 =" "data- NASA Opport NASA Opportunity: The rover extended and a 90-day mission into 15 years on Mars
NASA Opport unity rover took off from Earth on July 7, 2003, on an interstellar trip to the infamous Red Planet
The robots rover was designed to explore the surface of Mars for 90 Martian Days – just over 90 Earth Days – and
Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of the NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said: "For more than than 60 years, the decade, Opportunity has been an icon in the field of the planet's exploration, teaching us about Mars' ancient past as a wet, potentially habitable planet, and revealing uncharted Martian landscapes
"Whatever loss we feel must be tempered with knowledge that the legacy of Opportunity continues – both on the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover and InSight lander – and in the clean rooms of JPL, where the upcoming Mars 2020 rover is taking shape. "
Opportunity died in the we Marten 's Perseverance Valley – a 14 – mile – wide (22km) crater descending and Martian slope
Jet Propulsion Laboratory director Michael Watkins said: "I can not think of a more appropriate place for Opportunity to endure on the surface
"The records, discoveries and sheer tenacity of this intrepid little rover are the testament to the ingenuity, dedication, and perseverance of the people who built and guided her."