Nasa have announced that their Mars rover Opportunity has died after 15 years on red the planet. Opportunity, also known as MER-B or MER-1, was placed on Mars in 2004, but was declared ‘dead’ on Tuesday after being knocked out by a dust storm eight months ago. Nasa announced plans to abandon the rover from its Cape Canaveral headquarters Tuesday, after issuing a last ditch set of recovery commands. If Opportunity fails to respond by Wednesday, it will be officially declared defunct. It last broadcast on June 10, with Nasa scientists speculating that Opportunity’s clock may have become scrambled during its outrage, disrupting its ‘sleep’ cycle and draining its batteries. Opportunity, also known as MER-B or MER-1, landed on the planet in January 2004. It covered 28 miles in its working lifespan -more than any other rover ever placed on the Red Planet, and confirmed scientists’ theories that water had once flowed on Mars. The rover’s identical twin Spirit was pronounced dead in 2011, a year after getting stuck in some sand on the opposite side of Mars. Both vehicles far outperformed expectations, with the robot geologists originally only intended to operate for three months. They bounced onto the planet… Read full this story
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