NASA recently announced it will be concluding its first ever Mars rover mission after the rover has been out of service for nearly a year. The Mars rover, Opportunity, will be forever known as the longest living robot on another planet to date. Amongst its accomplishments include, photographing Mars red plains and revealing a land previously unknown to man.
Opportunity landed on Mars on January 24, 2004. The build of this rover was similar to a golf cart in size and was initially scheduled to last for only three months. The mission was for the Mars rover to roam a half mile of Mars surface, but proving its capabilities, it ended up roaming the distance of a marathon.
The demise of Opportunity occurred after a dust storm took place on Mars this past June. Still, NASA remained optimistic, hoping that once the weather resided Opportunity would restore its energy. However, this never happened; the cause is believed to have been either its solar panels were encrusted with dust or a key electronic component had been compromised by Martian weather. While the initial rover’s mission is over, the exploration of Mars is not. NASA sent a second, larger rover to Mars in 2012, Curiosity, and plans to send a third rover to Mars in 2020.
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