Opportunity rover that helped lay the groundwork for NASA's return to the Red Planet has officially been declared dead. After 15 years on the Martian surface, NASA's Opportunity rover has stopped functioning. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. The community of researchers and engineers involved in the program were in mourning over the passing of the rover, known affectionately as Oppy. Opportunity not only leaves behind a legacy of discovery, but it also became the longest-running rover. It travelled 28 miles and captured 217,594 raw images. It will probably stay where it fell silent in Perseverance Valley.
"For more than a decade, Opportunity has been an icon in the field of planetary exploration, teaching us about Mars' ancient past as a wet, potentially habitable planet, and revealing uncharted Martian landscapes," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "Whatever loss we feel now must be tempered with the knowledge that the legacy of Opportunity continues — both on the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover and InSight lander — and in the clean rooms of JPL, where the upcoming Mars 2020 rover is taking shape."
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