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RIP Rover

By Grace Dawson
On February 15, 2019

The day has finally come when the world must say goodbye to the Mars rover Opportunity. The rover, which (or who, depending on how much you care to personify the robot) was sent to the fourth planet of our solar system on July 7, 2003. He came into tragic contact with a dust storm eight months ago and was declared dead on Wednesday, February 13th. Since then, flight controllers have tried to make contact with the rover, with the final attempt including a wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.” This brought tears from the control team and no doubt many people across the world.

The slow, golf-cart-sized rover collected samples that aided scientists in determining whether life on Mars had ever been possible. NASA released its playlist “Opportunity, Wake Up!” on Spotify, which fittingly included David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” among others. Apparently, the Opportunity’s last message to NASA was essential, “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” In spite of (or perhaps because of) its similarity to Peter Parker’s infamous “Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good” from “Avengers: Infinity War” it garnered an emotional response from the team at NASA. Grief also spread across social media, with “I’m sorry, I just found out the last message sent by the Mars rover was ‘my battery is low and it is getting dark,’ so now I have to spend the rest of the day watching WALL-E and sobbing,” (@LouisPeitzman on Twitter) being the general theme.

The rover did its job and more, lasting 14 years longer than the 90 Mars-days it was originally designed to operate. It set records for distance traveled on the Red Planet. Rest in peace, Opportunity.



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