After all these years–15 to be exact–the Mars Rover is dead.
But it was a miracle in nature!
After all, NASA’s six-wheeled rover landed on the red planet in January 2004 for what billed as a 90-day mission. The robot was still going until a dust storm on Mars last summer killed it.
Abigail Fraeman, the deputy of project science for the Mars Exploration Rover mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote this in a poignant and emotional WASHINGTON POST article,
Tuesday’s communication attempts began with a “wake-up song” played at mission control. The mission’s principal investigator, Steve Squyres, had chosen “I’ll Be Seeing You,” as performed by Billie Holiday. At 8:10 p.m., Holiday’s wistful voice floated up from the command floor. “I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces,” she sang. Tears welled in my eyes.
Opportunity — or Oppy, as we affectionately call her — has been in my heart since she touched down on Martian soil 15 years ago, in January 2004. I was 16 and a high school student at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md. I loved space, and I couldn’t believe my luck when the Planetary Society offered me the chance to watch Opportunity land at JPL through its Red Rover Goes to Mars program. I was with the science team when we saw Oppy’s first images of Mars pop into view on large projection screens that surrounded the room. Instead of the rocky volcanic plains previous Mars landers had seen, Opportunity revealed a sea of sand with a strip of white bedrock poking through.
Opportunity was, actually, the second rover that NASA managed to land on Mars back in 2004. The tests and data found concludes that Mars was once able to hold life.. that waterways once roams around the now dusty dirt.
A science reporter, Jacob Margolis, scientists at NASA said the last message they received from Opportunity effectively translated to, “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”