Nasa declares Mars rover dead after 15 years on red planet

 breakingnews.ie  02/13/2019 19:52:00 

Nasa’s longest-running rover on Mars, Opportunity, has been pronounced dead – 15 years after it landed on the red planet.

The six-wheeled vehicle was built to operate for just three months.

After 800+ attempts to contact @MarsRovers Opportunity, today we’re announcing the end of a successful Martian mission. Intended to explore the Red Planet for 90 days, Oppy outlived its mission lifetime by 14+ years. Join us live now: https://t.co/zJwTTpQNwp #ThanksOppy pic.twitter.com/U4J26TfzDv

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) February 13, 2019

But it kept going and going until it was finally doomed by a ferocious dust storm eight months ago.

Flight controllers made numerous attempts to contact it and sent one final series of recovery commands on Tuesday night, accompanied by one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s I’ll Be Seeing You.

There was no response, only silence.

Remarkably agile until communication ended last June, Opportunity roamed a record 28 miles around Mars.

Opportunity and its long-dead twin rover, Spirit, found evidence that ancient Mars had water flowing on its surface and might have been capable of sustaining microbial life.

- Press Association

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