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NASA's Mars Opportunity rover is dead after nearly 15 years on the red planet. Take a look back at its unlikely journey.

Business Insider Logo By Hilary Brueck of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 23: 
  
    NASA's Opportunity rover is
    officially dead and the mission is over, the agency said
    Wednesday.
  
  
    The rover stopped communicating in June 2018 during a
    brutal Martian dust storm,
    but NASA didn't give up hope that the machine might re-connect
    after the dust settled and the rover gathered solar
    power.
  
  
    But finally, after one last failed attempt to call
    Opportunity on Tuesday, NASA has declared the mission
    officially over.
  
  
    Still, Opportunity's near 15-year stint on Mars was
    impressive for a robot designed to last only months.
  
  
    Here are a few of Opportunity's most noteworthy
    accomplishments. 
  

  NASA's Opportunity Mars rover was built to last just 90 Martian
  sols, or 92 Earth days. But the scrappy machine shocked engineers
  by surviving far longer than that. The rover withstood nearly 15
  years of tough conditions on Mars before finally succumbing to a
  violent dust storm that shook the Martian globe last
  June.

  NASA made one last unsuccessful attempt to phone Opportunity on
  Tuesday before declaring the mission officially over.

  "When this little rover landed, the objective was to have it be
  able to move 1,100 yards and survive for 90 days on Mars," NASA
  Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Wednesday. "Instead here we
  are, 14 years later, after 28 miles of travel, and we get to
  celebrate the end of this mission."

  Opportunity launched toward Mars on July 7, 2003 and landed there
  on January 25, 2004. Engineers at NASA did not expected the
  solar-powered machine to weather a single Martian winter; but in
  the end, the golf-cart-sized rover managed to crawl more than a
  marathon's distance on the red planet.

  After Mars endured a 
  global dust storm last summer that covered the planet in red
  dirt, the resulting darkness made it too tough for Opportunity to
  capture much-needed solar power. NASA hasn't heard a peep from
  the golf-cart sized rover since it was put into a nap in safe mode during the big storm. It
  turned out to be the robot's final slumber. 

  Here's a look back at what the Opportunity rover accomplished
  during its unlikely journey on Mars.

  • NASA's Opportunity rover is officially dead and the mission is over, the agency said Wednesday.
  • The rover stopped communicating in June 2018 during a brutal Martian dust storm, but NASA didn't give up hope that the machine might re-connect after the dust settled and the rover gathered solar power.
  • But finally, after one last failed attempt to call Opportunity on Tuesday, NASA has declared the mission officially over.
  • Still, Opportunity's near 15-year stint on Mars was impressive for a robot designed to last only months.
  • Here are a few of Opportunity's most noteworthy accomplishments.

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover was built to last just 90 Martian sols, or 92 Earth days. But the scrappy machine shocked engineers by surviving far longer than that. The rover withstood nearly 15 years of tough conditions on Mars before finally succumbing to a violent dust storm that shook the Martian globe last June.

NASA made one last unsuccessful attempt to phone Opportunity on Tuesday before declaring the mission officially over.

"When this little rover landed, the objective was to have it be able to move 1,100 yards and survive for 90 days on Mars," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Wednesday. "Instead here we are, 14 years later, after 28 miles of travel, and we get to celebrate the end of this mission."

Opportunity launched toward Mars on July 7, 2003 and landed there on January 25, 2004. Engineers at NASA did not expected the solar-powered machine to weather a single Martian winter; but in the end, the golf-cart-sized rover managed to crawl more than a marathon's distance on the red planet.

After Mars endured a global dust storm last summer that covered the planet in red dirt, the resulting darkness made it too tough for Opportunity to capture much-needed solar power. NASA hasn't heard a peep from the golf-cart sized rover since it was put into a nap in safe mode during the big storm. It turned out to be the robot's final slumber.

Here's a look back at what the Opportunity rover accomplished during its unlikely journey on Mars.

© Wikipedia

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