Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Sleep Well, Little Rover, Your Mission Has Ended
Well, with some sadness today, NASA announced that the Opportunity rover has not responded to numerous wake-up calls since August last year, and the mission has officially been ended.
The "Little Rover That Could" lasted far beyond it's "90 Day Warranty", and wound up being in service for 5,352 "Sols", or Earth-days of operation.
And she covered a tad over 28 miles from the landing site to her final position.
In June of 2018 she got covered with dust from a Mars-wide dust storm, and the output of the solar panels dropped, and dropped, and dropped until NASA decided it was best to put her in "Hibernation Mode".
Alas, Opportunity has not responded to wake-up commands, so today NASA pulled the plug.
I haven't heard if they'll occasionally swing a dish that way and call "Hello? Anybody Home?", or if they'll just write her off.
Anyway you look at it, they got a pretty big bang-for-the-buck with this little explorer!