NASA's Opportunity Rover begins its 15th th year on
Mars surface today. Rover landed in a
the region of the red planet called Meridiani Planum on January 24, 2004,
sends its first signal back to the ground from the surface at. 9:05 PM (Jan.
25, 2004, at 12:05 AM EST. Golf-cart-size
rover was designed to travel 1,100 meters (1,006
meters) and operate on the red planet for 90 March days (suns). It is raised
Over 28 miles (45 kilometers) and logged back its 5,000th Martian day (or sun) back
in February 2018.
years on the surface of Mars is testament not only for a magnificent machine of
exploration, but the dedicated and talented team behind what has allowed us
expanding our red planet exploration space, "John Callas says.
Project Manager for Opportunity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, California. "However, this anniversary cannot help but be one
a bit bittersweet like today
we do not know the rover's status. We do everything in our power
Communicate with opportunity, but as time goes on
the likelihood of successful contact with the rover continues to decrease. "
The last communication of the opportunity with the earth was received on June 1
as a worldwide dust storm blanketed the solar-powered
Rover's location on the western edge of Perseverance Valley, eventually blocking
Out so much sunlight that the rover could no longer charge his batteries. Though
The storm eventually fell and the sky over
Endurance cleared the
rover has not communicated with the earth since then. But the mission of opportunity
continues in a phase where missionaries at JPL send commands to that
as well as listening to signals from the rover. If engineers belong to the rover,
they could try a recovery.
Opportunity and its twin robber, Spirit, launched from the Cape
Canaveral, Florida, in 2003. Spirit landed on Mars in 2004 and its mission
ended in 2011.
For more information
on opportunities and the Mars Exploration Rover program, visit:
News Media Contact
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.