NASA is saying goodbye to its Opportunity rover on Mars after eight months of radio silence

<em>An artistic rendering of NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars.</em>

NASA is finally saying goodbye to its Opportunity rover on Mars after spending nearly a year trying to reestablish communication with the silent robot. A team of engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sent one final radio command to the rover last night but did not receive a response. Now, NASA will stop trying to communicate with Opportunity, effectively bringing the rover’s 15-year mission on Mars to an end.

Opportunity has been radio silent since June 2018 when a massive dust storm overwhelmed the skies of Mars and blotted out the Sun. The storm, one of the thickest NASA has ever seen, made it impossible for Opportunity’s solar panels to stay powered. As a result, the rover’s internal battery drained, and Opportunity went…

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Copyright Derek T McKinney 2019