The end has finally come for NASA's Opportunity Mars rover

An illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars

An illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars Credit NASA

But after 15 years on the Martian surface, the rover has officially been declared dead by NASA. The golf-cart-sized rovers were created to operate as geologists for just three months, after bouncing onto our planetary neighbor inside cushioning airbags.

Previous year a dust storm caused the rover to go dark after its solar panels were unable to suck energy up from sun.

Flight controllers tried numerous times to make contact, and sent one final series of recovery commands Tuesday night, along with one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday's "I'll Be Seeing You", in a somber exercise that brought tears to team members' eyes. There was no response, only silence. The six-wheeled geologists landed on the red planet in 2004.Remarkably spry until communication ceased last June, Opportunity roamed a record 28 miles (45 kilometers) around Mars.

Opportunity was created to operate for just 90 days on the martian surface but far outlived even the most ardent supporter's wildest expectations, roving 28 miles across the surface of Mars for more than 14 years.

"We have made every reasonable engineering effort to try to recover Opportunity and have determined that the likelihood of receiving a signal is far too low to continue recovery efforts", John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.

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The two rovers' greatest achievement was finding firm proof that water that could have sustained microbial life had once flowed on the Martian surface. The pair were part of the Mars Exploration Rovers, or MER, mission.

The Curiosity rover has been exploring the planet since it landed there in 2012, and a year ago sent back 16 pictures of the planet that scientists were put together to create a panoramic view of what Mars looks like.

With Spirit and Opportunity now out of action, NASA is left with five spacecraft on or around Mars.

The solar-powered rover last communicated with Earth on June 10, 2018, as a "planet-wide dust storm was blanketing the Red Planet". It also discovered evidence that there was once water on Mars, which may have been a possible breeding ground for extraterrestrial life.

NASA is planning a new rover mission to Mars that is expected to launch in 2020 to search for evidence of past life on the Red Planet.

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"Our beloved Opportunity remained silent", Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in today's press conference. The rover's final resting location was a spot named Perseverance Valley.

"When you combine the discoveries of Opportunity and Spirit, they showed us that ancient Mars was a very different place from Mars today, which is a cold, dry, desolate world", he said in a statement.

NASA's InSight lander remains on Mars after touching down on November 26.

This will mark the end of a almost 15-year mission on Mars for the rover.

Opportunity's fate disturbed some users so much that they even proposed reviving the robot.

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And NASA's InSight spacecraft, the first robotic lander created to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down safely on the surface of Mars in November with instruments to detect planetary seismic rumblings.

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