Monday, April 22, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars

Posted on Sunday, 27 January, 2019 | Comment icon 4 comments

15 years is a long time to spend trundling around on another world. Image Credit: NASA
The rover's 15-year anniversary has been sadly marred by the likelihood that its mission has come to an end.
Opportunity launched on July 7th, 2003 - three weeks after its twin rover Spirit - and landed on Mars at Meridiani Planum on January 25th, 2004 to begin its 90-day exploratory mission.

Incredibly, it managed to far exceed expectations by spending one-and-a-half decades exploring Mars.

Sadly though, following a dust storm last year, NASA has lost all communication with it, suggesting that its groundbreaking trek across the Red Planet's surface may have finally come to an end.

"Fifteen years on the surface of Mars is testament not only to a magnificent machine of exploration but the dedicated and talented team behind it that has allowed us to expand our discovery space of the Red Planet," said project manager John Callas.

"However, this anniversary cannot help but be a little bittersweet as at present we don't know the rover's status. We are doing everything in our power to communicate with Opportunity, but as time goes on, the probability of a successful contact with the rover continues to diminish."

Currently, NASA is attempting one more last-ditch effort to communicate with the rover by commanding it to switch to its backup X-band radio and to reset its internal clock.

"We plan to continue to pursue every logical solution that could put us back in touch," said Callas.

If this also fails however, it is likely that the rover's mission is well and truly over.

Source: Astronomy Now | Comments (4)

Tags: Opportunity, Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by acute on 27 January, 2019, 17:46
15 years on, and NASA still hasn't found Elvis. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 28 January, 2019, 15:30
Maybe the Martian's have taken it! Getting 15 years use out of a vehicle that was only expected to last 90 days is a great achievement. Not only has Opportunity performed a lot of great explanation, it has also sent back countless fantastic screensavers and wallpapers!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Aardvark-DK on 29 January, 2019, 6:15
Guess the can't send any birthday wishes, nor a good cake....a shame...
Comment icon #4 Posted by UFOwatcher on 1 February, 2019, 19:15
Hang in there little guy. We're all rooting for ya!

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Robot news anchor raises eyebrows in Russia
A human-like robot known as 'Alex' has recently been deployed as an anchor on a Russian news channel.
Ranger takes selfie with 'human-like' gorillas
A striking photograph taken by an anti-poaching ranger has been described as 'just another day in the office.'
SpaceX crew capsule test suffers 'anomaly'
An engine test of the Crew Dragon capsule resulted in plumes of smoke rising from Cape Canaveral yesterday.
Egg hunt held at Winchester Mystery House
One of America's most mysterious buildings has played host to the 'world's most bizarre Easter egg hunt.'
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Cannon made from 50,000 matches
Posted 4-7-2019 | 4 comments
What happens if you light a cannon made out of 50,000 matches ?
Latin America's most dangerous snake
Posted 3-24-2019 | 1 comment
Coyote Peterson comes face to face with an extremely dangerous reptile.
Squaring a doughnut
Posted 3-12-2019 | 1 comment
Michael returns with another mind-bending problem - this time concerning squares.
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Giant bird shadows
4-21-2019 | Hammond Indiana
Winter solstice hooded figures
3-6-2019 | Decatur, IL
My skinless demon
2-8-2019 | Michigan
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
Terrifying unexplained screams
1-2-2019 | Dorion, Ontario, Canada
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK

         More stories | Send us your story
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ