Goodnight, Sweet Prince: Mission Called On Mars Rover Opportunity After 8 Months Of Silence

February 14, 2019

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Originally landing on the red planet on January 25th, 2004 with a planned mission duration of 90 days but managing to last almost 15 years, the Mars rover Opportunity mission has officially been declared complete by NASA after the rover failed to answer one last call following 8 months of radio silence. *pouring out a little liquor* You will be missed. "That's coffee." No, it's only a quarter coffee.

Due to the 2018 dust storms on Mars, Opportunity ceased communications on June 10 and entered hibernation on June 12, 2018. It was hoped it would reboot once the atmosphere cleared, but it did not, suggesting either a catastrophic failure or that a layer of dust has covered its solar panels. NASA hoped to reestablish contact with the rover, citing a windy period that could potentially clean off the solar panels of the rover. On February 13, 2019, NASA officials declared that the Opportunity mission was complete, after the spacecraft failed to respond to repeated signals sent since August 2018.

Man, a planned mission duration of 90 days that stretched to almost 15 years -- can you imagine if other government projects were so successful? "No." It's hard, isn't it? We can send a rover to Mars that outlives its estimated operation by fifty-five times, but we can't manage to get a single piece of our other shit together. "Life on Mars is sounding pretty nice now." Right? Sit tight -- we're coming, Opportunity.

Thanks to everyone who sent this, several of whom are still holding onto a glimmer of hope that we get a rogue beep from Mars one day in the future.

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