The Mars Opportunity Rover is Dead
After fifteen glorious years exploring the surface of Mars, NASA's Opportunity rover has been officially declared dead by the space agency. The craft had reportedly stopped communicating with engineers on Earth after being pounded by a dust storm last June. Hopes that the craft may have recovered from the ordeal were dashed this year when Opportunity continued to remain unresponsive to numerous recovery commands.
NASA mercifully concluded the mission on Tuesday evening with a final message to the craft in the form of the Billie Holiday song "I'll Be Seeing You." Wistful engineers at the space agency celebrated the rover's remarkable achievements, including the fact that it was originally expected to only operate for around 90 days and wound up working more than 60 times that amount. By virtue of its marathon residency on Mars, the craft collected a staggering amount of data and insights about the Red Planet that forever changed our understanding of that mysterious world.
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By Marcia Dunn, AP