Opportunity has finally run out of, well, opportunities. After weeks of trying to revive the veteran Mars rover in the wake of a blinding dust storm, NASA has given up on ever hearing from it again.
After one last failed attempt to reach Opportunity February 12, NASA officials announced the end on February 13. “I was there with the team as these commands went out into the deep sky,” Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a news conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “I learned this morning that we had not heard back, and our beloved Opportunity remains silent. It is therefore that I am standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude that I declare the Opportunity mission as complete, and with it the Mars Exploration Rover mission as complete.”