During a press conference, NASA said Opportunity had not responded to a last attempt on Tuesday to contact. A Planetary Dust Stormpreventing its solar panels from storing electricity. Since then over 830 rescue commands have been beamed to the rover. On Tuesday evening, the Rover could not be seen despite the transmission of orders and Billie Holiday on the Deep Space Network to Mars.
"I learned this morning that we have heard nothing back," said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, during a press conference.
"That's why I stand here with deep thanks and gratitude [and] .I declare the opportunity mission completed," he concluded.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine shared his thoughts on Twitter.
The story of Opportunity is one of resilience, discovery and astonishment. It is a record breaker, a testament to the skills of NASA engineers, scientists and leaders who have built, worked and piloted the Rover for over 14 years. The final resting place is on the western edge of the Endeavor crater, in a gully called the Perseverance Valley Science Team.
The rover launched on July 7, 2003 and landed on January 25, 2004 in Meridiani Planum on Mars. His original mission should take a little over three months. However, the sturdy Rover continued to roam the Martian soil for almost 15 years, at a distance of about 45 kilometers (about 45 kilometers) – the furthest distance reached by an out-of-planet robot.
It was the second of twin vehicles sent to the planet in 2003 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. The first rover, Spirit, was stuck in a sand trap in 2009. NASA announced that its mission was completed in 2011.
Opportunity made several milestones on Mars and discovered the first meteorite found on another planet, revealing that Meridiani Planum was once submerged in water, studied over 100 impact craters and countless breathtaking panoramas of nearly 34 Delivered millions of miles away.
After landing in 2004, the robot in golf-cart size began its journey to the Endurance Crater and spent six months doing an extensive study of the rock and sand dunes. The opportunity would be between 2006 and 2008 for the 800-meter-long Victoria Crater, which shows how water entered and exited the region billions of years ago.
In 2011, the Endeavor hit an impact crater 13.7 miles wide, after three years of travel. It discovered a bright mineral vein of gypsum. At that time, Steve Squyres, a lead investigator at the Mission, said, "This tells a nasty story that water was flowing through subterranean breaches in the rock." It also made a picture of the infamous "Dust Devils", hurricanes that occasionally appeared on the Martian surface.
Your journey was not without fear. In 2005, Opportunity was dumped in a dune – a destiny that had crippled and finally claimed its robot twin. On Earth, NASA worked to mimic the soil of Mars before making cautious maneuvers to release Opportunity. The Rover survived its first dust storm in 2007, struggling with intermittent wheel problems and working with a problematic robotic arm throughout its expedition.
Nevertheless, it seemed that the intrepid robot researcher could not switch anything off. It celebrated its first selfie on its 5000th Mars Day.
Opportunity remains dormant in the Perseverance Valley and is occasionally spied on by a passing orbiter – or perhaps in the distant future as a pioneer, pointing out the way for the first humans to reach Mars and even settle there.
"Breakthrough missions like Opportunity will have a day when our brave astronauts walk the Martian surface," said Bridenstine.
The robot survives the NASA Curiosity Rover, which remains the only active rover on the surface of Mars. NASAand the European Space Agency's rover, due to launch in 2020, will join.
NASA turns 60: The Space Agency has won Humanity is further than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.
It goes to extremes: mix insane situations – erupting volcanoes, meltdowns, 30-foot waves – with everyday technology. The following happens: