The Opportunity rover’s final message from Mars was “My battery is low and it is getting dark.”
NO I’M NOT CRYING OVER A SPACE ROBOT SHUT UP
@InvaderXan I'm not crying. Not crying. Just...you know... 😭😭😭
It’s ok. I have something in my eye too... 😭
@InvaderXan ngl this will never not upset me. I anthropomorphize things way too easily and that little guy made it even easier to do.
I know, right? I’m still not over Cassini either!
@InvaderXan So ... when it's ... not reachable anymore ... will that be a ... "missed opportunity"?
It’s already a missed Opportunity 😭😭 and we’ve already lost our Spirit!
@InvaderXan And I'm floating in the most peculiar way -
@InvaderXan one day we'll get there and get it fixed up!
When we get there, we should build a monument to it! Intended to last 90 days and lasted for 5475! Opportunity was amazing!
@InvaderXan and if it weren't for the solar panels getting covered it'd have lasted even longer o_o
Wonder what it'd take to send a maintenance unit to provide basic cleaning services to other bots.
Main issue would be getting to them - flying isn't an easy option either with the Mars atmosphere being thinner than Earth's.
Its an interesting idea. I wonder how long it can go without power and still be revived by sunlight...
@polychrome @InvaderXan So it sounds like it doesn't actually have an on/off state so if it gets power again at all, if the electronics are still intact, it could be rebooted by a ping from Earth - which they've been trying.
If the problem is that the solar panels weren't blown clean enough again for it to have enough power, then the primary problem for eventual restarting is the rover won't be able to stay warm enough over the winter to avoid the electronics being destroyed.
@polychrome @InvaderXan The solar panels being covered by dust and shutting off the rover happened earlier on in the dust season but the post-storm winds cleaned the panels off enough that it could restart. This time, the panels weren't very well positioned to be hit by sunlight when the storm hit, so it's possible the panels were cleaned off a little but not enough to get sufficient power to run.
It's been an honor, robot.
And a great opportunity.
The best opportunity.
The trouble is that Martian dust is as fine as wheat flour, and it blows like snow drifts. A stationary object on Mars could end up buried by a huge sand dune.
As for non-humans finding it, it’s cameras and instruments are likely self explanatory. It’s an observer. Though for what purpose, it may be harder to say.
Very possible, seeing as it was lost in a global dust storm which lasted for weeks. Martian dust storms are a regular occurrence too, every few years. We know its location, but it may become difficult to find purely by chance.
@InvaderXan wow, nice toot. May I ask you the source of the pic, as well as the message, plz?
You've waken up the inner child that wanted to be an astronaut
Both are being shared around all of science Twitter right now.
Image source is... literally the Opportunity rover? The credit line (for this and similar) is NASA JPL/Caltech, and all NASA space images are public domain by policy.
Here’s a thread from a science journalist with more info:
@InvaderXan Thank you for the link, and for your time 👍
@InvaderXan I´m at work and I can hardly hold my tears.
Who knows what our grandchildren will see.
What a time to be alive!
The best thing is that there will always be more to see. The more we walk towards the horizon, the more it recedes from us.
I had trouble recounting this to my wife without choking up damn you.
Don't worry. You're definitely not the only one!
Literally was about to type pretty much exactly this same toot.
I guess great minds think alike!
recharging my batteries in remembrance
see u... space robot
@InvaderXan Crying over spacecraft, you say? Count me in:
Oh, there have been so many of them now...
@InvaderXan tell my wife I love her very much
@InvaderXan this is like the third time I’ve cried over some kind of rover/probe/space thing so...you’re not alone
We need to go there and rescue the little fella! 😤
@InvaderXan poor robot
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