The small rover of Mars that could – The Spur


After living a life 50 times longer than initially expected, Mars's Mars Opportunity died. Two identical rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched in 2003 for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Both landed on Mars in January 2004 with the expectation of lasting three months while traveling less than a mile. The spirit came to an end in 2010 after the crash landed the rover. Opportunity exceeded all expectations and lived over fourteen years, finally ending his mission.

Opportunity found past signs of water on Mars, explored craters and studied rocks and the impact of its thermal shield after landing on the Red Planet. The vehicle has traveled more than 28 miles during its lifetime.

According to National Geographic, John Callas, project manager for the Mars Exploration Rovers mission, stated: "With this mission, more than other robotic missions, we have made that human bond, so saying goodbye is much more difficult. But at the same time, we must remember this phenomenal achievement – this historical exploration we have made. I think it will be a long time before any mission goes beyond what we can do. "

It is believed that a dust storm from one of Mars's seasonal winds, lasting from November to January, was the cause of Opportunity's unfortunate end. Previously, storms helped clean the red dust accumulated on Opportunity's solar panels, prolonging its life. This time, however, Opportunity could not get through. Nasa sent commands to try to revive the rover on January 25, thinking that a defective antenna or watch may have been the cause of the rover's silence. NASA now says the Perseverance Valley, named after the firm Opportunity, will now be the resting place for this space vehicle.

"Despite the end of Opportunity's mission, the future is bright for the continued exploration of Mars," according to Johns Hopkins University astrophysics student Brian Healy. The Curiosity rover is entering its seventh year of scientific operations, searching for signs of water and life spent on the surface of the Red Planet. The newly arrived insight lander will study the interior structure of Mars, seismic activity and climate. Another rover, set to launch in 2020, will drill deep into the planet's soil to determine whether life existed on Mars.

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