Opportunity (rover)

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An artist's sketch of Opportunity on the surface of Mars

Opportunity, also known as MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover – B) or MER-1, and nicknamed Oppy,[1][2] was a robotic rover that was active on Mars from 2004 to 2018.

It was launched on July 7, 2003, as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program, it landed in Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004, three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) touched down on the other side of the planet Mars.

With a planned 90-sol duration of activity (slightly more than 90 earth days), Spirit functioned until getting stuck in 2009 and stopped communications in 2010. Opportunity was able to stay operational for 5352 sols after landing, maintaining its power and key systems through continual recharging of its batteries through solar power.

Opportunity was active for 18 years, 4 days (in Earth Time), 55 times more than its lifespan. By June 10, 2018, when it last contacted NASA,[3][4] the rover had traveled a distance of 45.16 kilometers (28.06 miles).

Due to the massive dust storms on Mars in 2018, Opportunity stopped communications on June 10, 2018. It was hoped it would reboot once the atmosphere cleared.[5] However it did not, as it either suffered a catastrophic failure or that a layer of dust has covered its solar panels.[6]

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.[7] Oppy worked for 14 years trying to find water, it found evidence of water, like finding types of rocks only found in water, and clay that suggested fresh water once existed.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Opportunity Memories | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory". www.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  2. "Opportunity Memories | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory". www.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  3. Malik, T. (June 21, 2018). "Mars Dust Storm 2018: How It Grew & What It Means for the Opportunity Rover". space.com. Future.plc. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  4. Rayl, A. J. S. (August 1, 2018). "The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Dust Storm Wanes, Opportunity Sleeps, Team Prepares Recovery Strategy". planetary.org. Planetary Society. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  5. Greicius, Tony (September 24, 2018). "Opportunity Emerges in a Dusty Picture". NASA. Archived from the original on October 15, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  6. Greicius, Tony (August 30, 2018). "Update on Opportunity Rover Recovery Efforts". NASA. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  7. "NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End". NASA. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.