The Mars Rover Opportunity’s mission is now officially over. On June 10, 2018, a massive dust storm on Mars prevented the rover from getting enough sunlight to keep its batteries charged. After many attempts to revive the rover, NASA has finally closed its mission. It was launched in 2003 and was expected to have a surface mission life of only 90 days. A testament to NASA’s engineering, it operated for almost 15 years and traversed 28.06 miles.
In its travels on Mars, Opportunity confirmed that lakes of water had existed on Mars and water flowed through rock fractures below ground. It also explored a crater where clays indicate a friendly environment for the existence of microbial life forms. Due to the length of its time on Mars, it was also able to do a long-term study of the Martian environment, studying clouds, the atmosphere and dust storms.
Thank you, Opportunity. Well done!