NASA Mars rover: These were the final moments of the Opportunity rover before the tragic death | Science | News

NASA's Opportunity rover was officially declared dead on February 13, after 15 years of unprecedented exploration of Mars. NASA lost all contact with the Mars rover in June 2018, but it remained hopeful that it could re-establish contact. On June 10, 2018, the rover was located for the last time within the limits of the Perseverance Valley, near the Endeavor crater. The NASA Opportunity fell silent just as a dust storm on the entire planet descended on Mars, hiding the skies above the solar rover.

Now, almost three months after Opportunity's death, NASA has revealed the final 28 miles covered by the Rover vehicle.

The black and white map describes the final moments of Opportunity in Perseverance Valley on June 10 last year.

Opportunity's journey is described on a winding yellow road, which begins at Eagle Crater in the north.

The Eagle crater was the landing site selected for the landing of the Opportunity mission in 2004.

READ MORE: Last message from the NASA Opportunity: What were the last heartbreaking words of Mars Rover?

The rover then headed south through the Victoria Crater, the Santa Maria Crater and the Perseverance Valley.

NASA said: "This final cross-sectional map for NASA's Opportunity rover shows where the rover was located within the Perseverance Valley on June 10, 2018, the last date that it contacted its engineering team.

"Visible on this map is a yellow transverse route that begins at Opportunity's landing site, Eagle Crater, and spans 28.06 miles, 45.16 km, to its final resting place at the edge of Endeavor Crater.

"The rover was descending into the crater in the Perseverance Valley when the dust storm finished its mission."

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On May 30, 2018, the US space agency UU It detected that a dust storm the size of a planet was brewing, threatening to stop Opportunity's activities.

As the incredible dust storm darkened the skies, the brave little rover bent down to keep his batteries and weather the storm.

Unfortunately, after challenging all odds for 15 years, NASA could not awaken the rover from its self-induced dream.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "It is because of the pioneering missions like Opportunity that a day will come when our brave astronauts walk the surface of Mars.

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"And when that day comes, part of that first footprint will be owned by the men and women of Opportunity, and a small rover who defied the odds and did a lot in the name of exploration."

And Thomas Zurbuchen, badociate administrator of NASA's Directorate of Science Missions, said: "I am standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude for declaring that the Opportunity mission is complete.

"It transformed our understanding of our planet, everything we do and think about our planetary neighborhood with Mars and elsewhere is related to the investigation of that and the engineering advances that came out of that."

The next NASA rover to launch on Mars is the NASA Mars 2020 mission, to be launched in the second half of July 2020.

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