Opportunity fell asleep forever: NASA acknowledged the loss of the rover
Fans of space exploration have been following NASA’s efforts to reconnect with the sleeping Opportunity rover for months . Let me remind you that the problem was a global dust storm , due to which the solar panels of the rover were so polluted that they could not produce current.
As a result, the device turned off and did not show signs of life - it has not been in touch since June 2018. On February 13, NASA last tried to communicate with the rover, but to no avail . In total, about 800 attempts were made to contact the device.
No need to complain - Opportunity and so broke all possible records of the duration of work on another planet. Instead of several months, it functioned for 14 years and 195 days. During this time, he managed to drive on the surface of the Red Planet about 45 kilometers. The last time the connection with him was established on June 10, 2018. After that, the device was transferred to the power saving mode from which it never came out.
Experts know where the rover is, but they can't do anything. Most likely, the device did not have enough energy to heat the batteries, and this led to a complete freezing of all systems. As mentioned above, the main reason is the contamination of solar panels.
According to representatives of the Opportunity team, the device was an icon in the field of exploration of the planets. He was able to reveal many features of the evolution of the planet, scientists and ordinary people were able to get to know Mars better than ever before.
The mission of the rover will continue Curiosity, InSight Lander and other (future) rovers. One of the rovers of the future, Mars 2020, is currently working on an agency.
It is worth recalling that the Opportuniy was the second rover, sent to a neighbor of the Earth in the framework of the Mars Exploration Rover project. The main task of the rover was to study the issue of water availability on Mars and its origin. In addition, the rover had to figure out how water affects or influenced the geology and climate of the planet.