World Teen - Main Article
 
Signup Teachers & Parents
UPDATE: Rover Bites Mars Dust
News Bytes 02/13/2019 20 Comments

Opportunity was supposed to roam Mars for three months. But NASA’s rover held on for the long haul—rolling across the rocky red soil like a real-life, outer space Energizer bunny for 15 years. But alas! The rover was pronounced dead on Wednesday.

The six-wheeled vehicle was spry up until eight months ago. Opportunity was exploring Mars’ Perseverance Valley when the fiercest dust storm in decades hit and contact was lost. The storm was so intense that it darkened the sky for months, preventing sunlight from reaching the rover’s solar panels.

When the sky finally cleared, Opportunity remained silent, its internal clock possibly so scrambled that it no longer knew when to sleep or wake up to receive commands. Flight controllers sent more than 1,000 recovery commands, all in vain.

Flight controllers sent one final series of recovery commands Tuesday night along with one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.” There was no response.

Opportunity outlived its twin, the Spirit rover, by several years. The two vehicles landed on opposite sides of the planet in 2004. Their mission was meant to last 90 Mars days, which are 39 minutes longer than a day on Earth.

Trundling along until communication ceased last June, Opportunity worked longer than any other lander—anywhere, ever. Its greatest achievement was discovering evidence that water may once have flowed on Mars.

Opportunity was the fifth of eight spacecraft to successfully land on Mars. All belong to NASA. Only two are still working: the Curiosity rover (see “Curiosity Snaps Selfie”), prowling since 2012; and the recently arrived InSight, which just this week placed a probe on the dusty red surface.

Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science missions, broke the news to the Opportunity team. “I declare the Opportunity mission as complete,” Zurbruchen said, adding, “It’s an emotional time.”

(This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. NASA via AP)

Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.
Most recent comments

Wow! that's so cool!! Sad

Wow! that's so cool!! Sad about the Spirit though:(

2nd Comment

Cool! I am surprised it lasted that long.

sad

thats sad how are they going to get the rover back to try again?!?!?!

WOW

WOW

5th Comment

Wow it's cool that it lasted so long!

wow?!!

I wonder why it didn't react to the commands?

7th comment/ @Nadia A

The strong winds from the storm prolly damaged the rovers antena.

Oh

Thanks

Mars

I think it would be totally cool to go to Mars!

@ Grant G.

Which Grant G. is this? :p

@ALYSSA S.

THE REAL ONE

@ALYSSA S.

Ok from now on I am going to put a G at the end of my comments so that you know which GRANT it is. Is that good?

@" the real Grant G" I know your not fall ng to me but...

Yes!! That would be grate!
Now I better see a another Grant G commeting :-) :-) :-)

:) G

:)

G

@NADIA A.

The other GRANT G. is the one that said "I believe Alexandria O. Cortez is NUTS. I mean, really! She should have been laughed out of New York! (Btw she's NY's representative!)" on the "Election 2020: Field Grows" article. Take a look.

To above

G

17 comment. :(

That is soo sad! so they are saying that the rover is alive, but they are not able to connect to it anymore. I was silly though that they sent a sad goodbye song to the rover.

ATTENTION!!!!!!!!!!PLEASE HELP EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We REALLY need help at the article "Gaming, When is too much too much", because we are at about 600 or so comments, and we want to get 400 more. I hope ya'll aren't too lazy to put that in the search engine and help us...… PLEASE?!?!?!?!?

we made it!!!!!!!

there's 1088 comments on there

Aww. Farewell, Opportunity!

Aww. Farewell, Opportunity!

Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login