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Death situation: Mars Opportunity Rover



A merica goodbye to an old, faithful friend this month, as NASA closed the book on the record-breaking Mars Opportunity rover, officially declaring an end to its nearly 15-year exploration on Wednesday, February 13.

Opportunity had ceased to communicate with Earth after a serious, worldwide dust storm, which buffeted Mars in June 2018 and devised the solar powered rover. In the intervening months, more than a thousand attempts were made to contact the sleeping rover according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), but to no avail. Engineers at NASA's Space Flight Operations Facility in Pasadena, California, made a final attempt to revive the opportunity on February 1

2, but also succeeded.

The opportunity is survived by Curiosity Rover and InSight Lander both on Mars and the not yet named "March 2020" robber to be launched in July.

Government projects tend to come in by schedule and over budget. "Oppy" was a beloved exception.

Arrival in March on January 24, 2004, seven months after launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Opportunity was designed to last only 90 March days and travel a total distance of 1,100 meters. (Martian days are about 40 minutes longer than ours.) Instead, the two president of the golf cart has shown two presidents and the whole series run of "How I met your mother" (2005-2014) that exceeds the life expectancy with 60 times. Opportunity explored the red planet in the better part of 14 years, traveling over 28 miles and sending more than 217,000 pictures back to Earth. In comparison, his twin robber, Spirit, who arrived at the Red Planet 20 days before Opportunity, traveled about 5 miles before he died in May 2011.

The robber's primary goal was to seek evidence of water on Mars to help determine if the planet's climate might have been able to sustain life. "From Get-Go, Opportunity Delivered," said Steve Squyres, principal researcher of the Rovers' science payload at Cornell University. Its discoveries and the spirit of the Spirit revealed "convincing evidence" to the existence of liquid water, both on the surface and below, during Mars' ancient past.

A team of engineers, drivers, and scientists led and drifted the opportunity far from Earth and collaborated to "overcome challenges and get the rover from a geological site on Mars to the next," explained JPL. "They plotted useful roads over rugged terrain so that 384 pounds … Martian explorer could maneuver around, and sometimes over rocks and mountaineers, climb gravel slopes as steep as 32 degrees (an off-Earth record), probe crater floors, peak heights and crossing possible dry riverbanks. "

One of the rover's greatest challenges came in April 2005, as the opportunity seemed to be countered by a treacherous marsh sandring (when the sand is pulled off the surface air or water into shallow dune-like formations). Traveling across Mars & Meridiani Planum region was opportunism murdered in the ripple, later called "Purgatory Dune". After all six of its wheels dug about Four inches deep into the soft, wind-blown dust and sand. If this doesn't sound scary enough, imagine trying to drive a remote controlled car out of a St. Andrew's piles made of Fire Swamp quicksand. After more than five nerve-racking weeks of planning, mapping and testing, not to mention a cautious incremental drive, the Opportunity team managed to release the rover from the father in early June 2005. After my knowledge, the flight is holding record for The longest distance service assistance operation ever. (Eat your heart out, AAA.)

The Purgatory Dune was far from its only extraterrestrial test. The same year, the possibility of lost control in one of its front wheels and suffered a heater problem that almost stunted its total solar power capacity. In 2007, a dust storm weathered for two months. Eventually the years and miles began to take their toll. In 2015, JPL reports that Oppy lost use of its 256-megabyte flash memory; Two years later, it lost control of its second front wheel. Nonetheless, the pristine rover-as-soldier could have battered and crushed until it ultimately succumbed to the dust in June 2018.

Calling Opportunity's mission is a success to make the crew and craft a bad service . The company is a huge scientific and technical achievement, conceived in the indelible spirit of American exploration and innovation, representing the great virtues of noble human effort. Possibility was American exceptionism manifested, and whether it was providence or coincidence, it was only fitting that the rover found his final resting place in the western arm of the Mars & # 39; Perseverance Valley.

Goodbye, Oppy, your nation greets you.

J. Grant Addison is the substitute for Washington Examiner Magazine.


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