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Old 02-13-2019, 05:24 PM
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RIP, Opportunity.


After well over 5,000 days (or rather, sols) of active service, the 90-day mission of NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars has officially come to an end.

Ave aqtue vale, Opportunity. You were a very good robot.

The xkcd cartoon you may be thinking of right now was actually about Spirit, Opportunity's sister robot. Alas, I guess this one won't be coming true, either.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:45 PM
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I raised a toast to our robotic explorer. Power down and wait it out, little buddy. We'll get up there for you eventually.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:09 PM
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I've kept track of the recent attempts to regain contact and knew this was coming. But it still hit me hard.
I was also sad when Cassini ended its mission but that was different because it was still working.

Here is hoping Oppy will be visited in the not to distant future.

Brian
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM
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The xkcd cartoon you may be thinking of right now was actually about Spirit, Opportunity's sister robot. Alas, I guess this one won't be coming true, either.
And I see there's already a new xkcd posted for this bittersweet occasion.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:39 PM
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I know we should not anthropomorphize the rover but sometimes it is hard not to.

All alone, 34 million miles away on a cold, inhospitable planet trudging ever so slowly and unendingly and even singing happy birthday to itself once and then giving that up.

For me the nail in that particular, anthropomorphizing coffin, were Opportunity's last words (so to speak) to NASA:

“My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”

I always liked seeing the pictures from Mars. Will miss you buddy.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:23 PM
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I follow sarcastic rover on twitter so I learned of this from him this morning. I feel a sad.

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Old 02-13-2019, 07:56 PM
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Opportunity no longer knocks.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:06 PM
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After well over 5,000 days (or rather, sols) of active service, the 90-day mission of NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars has officially come to an end.

Ave aqtue vale, Opportunity.
Talk about exceeding expectations -- that's what I call return on investment. Well done, Team Opportunity, you designed, built and deployed a fine system. All things must pass, on Earth and Mars and the Heavens, but no one can take out this achievement. You take your place in the great chain of explorers.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-13-2019 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:41 AM
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A fine example of quality engineering.

Makes me wonder how many earthbound engineers were involved in that remarkable mission. I expect it was a cast of thousands over the years. They can be feel very proud that they have achieved so much.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:34 AM
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I've been a rover junkie since day 1, but I really got into it when Spirit got stuck and quit talking. I followed Opportunity about weekly if not more often after that; never got so into Curiosity for some reason.

So I'm sad. But what a great run!
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:42 AM
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How long can the rover stay there before all evidence of it's existence is hidden or gone I wonder?
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:43 AM
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A plucky little 'bot which more than exceeded expectations, and served the United States and all of humanity very, very well. Rest in peace, Opportunity. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:32 AM
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In a recent pub quiz I asked the question "Which planet is, to the best of our knowledge, entirely populated by robots?". I guess that population is down to one now.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:43 AM
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In a recent pub quiz I asked the question "Which planet is, to the best of our knowledge, entirely populated by robots?". I guess that population is down to one now.
Two: Curiosity, and the recent InSight lander.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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In a recent pub quiz I asked the question "Which planet is, to the best of our knowledge, entirely populated by robots?"....
That is a great question.
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Old 02-14-2019, 11:27 AM
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Whoever translated a power check and a measurement of ambient light as "My batteries are low and it is getting dark" is an emotionally manipulative bastard and a better writer than I can ever hope to be.

Godspeed Opportunity.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:07 PM
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Two: Curiosity, and the recent InSight lander.
Oh yeah - forgot about InSight. Ta.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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Oh yeah - forgot about InSight. Ta.
I plan on stealing your excellent pub quiz question, btw.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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The Curiosity rover pays homage: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...em/2864795002/
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:22 PM
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A 90 day mission that ended up lasting almost 15 years. That's an amazing feat.

The teams that designed and supported Opportunity can be proud of their achievement.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:53 PM
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Hear, hear!
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:56 PM
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We need to go there and bring it home. You done good, Rover. Thank you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:07 PM
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I picture it up there as being a little like Wall-E if he had been left alone to eventually run out of power as he was trying to do his job.

::sob::
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:32 PM
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I picture it up there as being a little like Wall-E if he had been left alone to eventually run out of power as he was trying to do his job.

::sob::
I do too, but then I thought he was tired after such a long mission, and was going to sleep now. He will wake up when we land on Mars.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:36 PM
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I'm getting as verklempt as everybody, but you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBqhIVyfsRg
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:48 PM
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I'm getting as verklempt as everybody, but you need to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBqhIVyfsRg
ESA made a whole series of animations about the Rosetta/Philae comet mission. Aimed at young children, they found a wider audience of sentimental old goats like me. Here's the final one - watch to the end.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcYo-qQ5HbA
  #27  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:56 PM
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As my friend pointed out, the Voyagers are still going 40+ years later

Brian
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:05 PM
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To be fair Voyager is not being pounded by weather, was built to last a lot longer than 90 days and has a nuclear battery which keeps it going.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:41 PM
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I can beat that ...

While long dead, good old Vanguard I is still part of a network of old satellites that are used in baseline measurements of atmospheric density.

In a little over a month it will have been providing scientific data for 61 years.

There's nothing else man made up there that's older. (Well, it's in a tie with its upper launch stage.)

Last edited by ftg; 02-14-2019 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:13 PM
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I know we should not anthropomorphize the rover
Speak for yourself. I am unabashedly anthropomorphizing the heck out of those plucky rovers.

Goodnight, Opportunity. You will be missed.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:56 AM
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Is there some chance that Opportunity will revive? I'm thinking of some favorable wind event removing enough dust from the solar panels that batteries can recharge.

Or is this inevitably final?

Last edited by Xema; 02-15-2019 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:55 PM
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Is there some chance that Opportunity will revive? I'm thinking of some favorable wind event removing enough dust from the solar panels that batteries can recharge.

Or is this inevitably final?
From an article from October of last year, prolonged deep cold can damage the batteries, such that even if some helpful Martian dust devil cleans off the solar panels (or has already done so), the rover will still never be able to re-start. From a couple of articles from back in 2007 there are probably other things that prolonged exposure to intense cold could have done to the electronics of the rovers. (Those two articles were talking about a previous dust storm, at a time when both Spirit and Opportunity were still operational--and in fact both rovers were able to recover from that one.)
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