Opportunity Signs Off
Mars Opportunity Rover (credit: NASA)
NASA's Opportunity Mars rover mission has concluded.
After a global dust storm covered the planet, Opportunity's solar panels and batteries ran out of power. After a year of failed attempts to regain contact, NASA determined the mission was over. What had been originally scheduled as 3-month mission exploration, turned into 15 years. Opportunity's data and discoveries will re-write science books about the early history of Mars and the potential to support life. Its sister rover Spirit stopped functioning years ago. Both robots were named by school kids and as a fitting gesture for this great 'voyage of discovery', a poem was written in celebration:
It seems to me you lived your life
like a rover in the wind
never fading with the sunset
when the dust set in.
Your tracks will always fall here,
among Mars' reddest hills;
your candle's burned out long before
your science ever will.