This illustration, provided by NASA, shows the potential of Mars on the surface of Mars. The exploration vehicle landed on January 24, 2004, and passed more than 45 kilometers before being silenced during a global dust storm in June 2018.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Opportunity of NASA, Mars Mars, which was built to work only three months but continues to go, was declared dead on Wednesday, 15 years after landing on the red planet.
The six-wheeled vehicle, which helped gather critical evidence that the ancient Mars could be hospitable to life, was remarkably erupted eight months ago when it was finally condemned by the fierce dust storm.
Flight controllers have repeatedly tried to establish contact and have sent a final set of recovery commands on Tuesday night along with one last wake-up call, "I'll see you" from Billy Holidey Holding.
Thomas Zurbuben, head of NASA's scientific missions, reported the Opportunity team's news to what was equal to wake up in the reactive motion laboratory of the space agency in Pasadena, California, declaring the death of "our favorite opportunity."
Given the silence of space, "I am here with a deep gratitude and gratitude to announce the Opportunity mission as complete," Zurbruchen told a crowded audience. "It's an emotional time."
The size of the Opportunity Golf Cart has experienced its twin, Spirit Row, for several years. The two slow-moving vehicles landed on the opposite sides of the planet in 2004 for a mission that had to last for 90 days.
In the end, Opportunity puts endurance and distance records that can last for years, if not decades.
While communicating until communication ended last June, Opportunity went around a record 28 miles (45 km) around Mars and worked longer than any other collector – everywhere.
His greatest achievement was to find, along with the Spirit, proof that the ancient Mars had water flowing over its surface and capable of maintaining microbial life.
Opportunity explores the Mars' Perseverance valley, suitable when the sharpest dust storm has hit for decades and contact is lost. The storm was so intense that it hated the sky for months so that sunlight could not reach the solar panels of the Rover.
When the sky finally cleared, Opportunity stayed silent, his inner clock was probably so mixed that he did not know when to sleep or wake up to get commands. Flight controllers sent more than 1000 recovery commands, all in vain.
As the project costs reached about $ 500,000 a month, NASA decided that there was no point in continuing.
"This is a tough day," project manager John Callas said. – Although it's a machine and say goodbye, it's still very hard and very moving, but we had to do it. We have reached this point. He added, "It's time to say goodbye.
When it became clear that Rover was about to be declared dead, NASA Administrator Jim Bridestein said he had encountered people who were "a little strangled," but that the general mood was one of the celebrations.
Scientists believe this is the end of an era, now that Opportunity and Spirit have disappeared.
Possibility is the fifth of the eight spacecraft that has successfully landed on Mars so far, all of which belong to NASA. Only two of them continue to work: the Curiosity rover with a nuclear engine running since 2012 and the recently arrived InSight, which just this week puts the probe that only crashes heat on the dusty red surface to go deep into the planet like a mole.
The next year, three more devices have to be launched – from the US, China and Europe.
Bridentalna said the main objective was to look for evidence of the past or even current microbial life on Mars, and to find suitable places for sending astronauts, perhaps in the 2030s.
"I think it's important to remember," said Bridgetin to the AP. "There are many more missions to be done and there are still many discoveries. And while it is sad to move from one mission to another, it really is part of a big goal. "
The Associate Press Department for Health and Science receives support from the Department of Scientific Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.