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  • The data gathered by the two robots completely changed earth’s prior understanding of the Red Planet.

    The data gathered by the two robots completely changed earth’s prior understanding of the Red Planet. | Photo: NASA/JPL

Published 13 February 2019

Oppy's mission is considered one of NASA’s most successful ventures in space.

NASA rover, Opportunity Mars- more affectionately known as Oppy- has ended its mission, engineers announced Wednesday, after the robot went silent eight months ago after a terrible dust storm.

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"We tried valiantly over these last eight months to recover the rover, to get some signal from it," said project manager John Callas, adding that the team hoped Oppy’s solar panels would reboot her power board.

"We've listened every single day with sensitive receivers, and we sent over 1,000 recovery commands. We heard nothing and the time has come to say goodbye," Callas said.

Oppy and its twin sister robot, Spirit, landed on Mars in 2014 Their mission is considered one of NASA’s most successful ventures in space. The pair of “mobile geologists” exceeding expectations, roaming a combined 51 kilometers for over 14.5 years.

The data gathered by the two robots completely changed earth’s prior understanding of the Red Planet, revealing that millions of years ago, the landscape was warmer and wetter- a far cry from the icy weather on Mars today.

Oppy’s Chief Scientist Steve Squyres said, "We were able at the rim of Endeavour Crater to find rocks that were probably the oldest observed by either one of the rovers; rocks that pre-dated even the formation of Endeavour Crater.

"And those told a story of water coursing through the rocks but with a neutral pH - it was water you could drink. That was one of the mission's most significant discoveries," he said.

On Twitter, NASA announced the end of the Opportunity Mars mission, writing, “Today we say thanks Oppy as the Mars Rovers mission comes to an end. Six things to know about our record-breaking, discovery-making, marathon-driving rover, which found that ancient Mars was awash in water.”

In a second tweet, the U.S. space association told followers not to be sad, that Oppy’s mission will live on in current and future missions on Mars, noting that another rover, Curiosity, is being prepared for the next exploration.


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