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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

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Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, February 15, 2019/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, art and design, environment, adventure

                           Opportunity's Last Photograph (credit: JPL/NASA)

The Opportunity rover has 'gone dark' after a year of attempts to regain contact with the spacecraft. The rover became stranded when a massive dust storm encircled Mars and covered its solar panels. The rover, originally scheduled to operate for three months, lasted nearly 15 years gathering data on the Red Planet. Opportunity, named by students only with its sister robot Spirit and nicknamed by NASA engineers as "Oppie", became the subject of much affection. The last photograph JPL received showed the Martian horizon and a dust-filled sky. Its final email message said simply:

“My battery is low and it’s getting dark."

In a recap of the remarkable Mars mission of exploration, JPL compiled a short-list of major accomplishments. The data gathered by the robots on Martian will be analyzed for years to come.



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