The internet was taken by storm when NASA officially announced their beloved Mars rover, Opportunity, died after the last attempt at communication with it failed.
Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, were both planned for 90-day missions back in 2004, and they both exceeded expectations. While Spirit powered down after falling into a crater in 2010, they both made breakthroughs in research on Mars, finding evidence that water existed on the Red Planet.
After a historic dust storm covered the rover’s solar panels in June 2018, it lost power and entered a state of unresponsiveness. Its final transmission to Earth was “my battery is low, and it’s getting dark.”
Since then, attempts to revive the rover over the last eight months by NASA have gone unanswered. They officially declared Opportunity dead on February 13, 2019, leaving astronomy fans and scientists mourning.
Even though it may seem trivial to be upset over the loss of a machine, Opportunity’s contributions to science have been revolutionary. It is the end of an era of technology, and though it’s sad to see a part of our world coming to an end, it is also a grand time of, well, opportunity.
Rest in peace, Oppy.