The Rover Which Was Built To Survive 90 Days On Mars But Somehow Survived 14 Years Is Now Dead, NASA Confirms

Roughly eight months after it fell silent during a planet-wide Martian dust storm, and just weeks after celebrating its 15th anniversary on the red planet, NASA is finally saying goodbye to the Opportunity rover. The space agency has made hundreds of attempts to contact the rover since it powered down back in June, when dark skies prevented its solar battery from charging.

In a last-ditch effort, NASA sent out a final set of commands on Tuesday in hopes it might finally respond.But once again, their calls were met only with silence.

NASA confirmed the grim news in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, where it officially bade farewell to the long-running mission.

With the death of the Opportunity rover also comes the end of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers program, which launched from Cape Canaveral in July 2003 with the twin robots, Spirit and Opportunity. Spirit met its end back in 2011, a year after getting stuck in the sand and losing contact with Earth.

It was designed to last just 90 Martian days (90 sols), during which it would travel a total of 1,000 meters (1100 yards). But somehow, rover survived 14-and-a-half years after touching down on the red planet, pushing its limits to travel almost 30 miles to reshape our understanding of Mars.

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