Thursday, February 14, 2019
The Sad End Of The Mars Rover Opportunity
Ever since I was I was a boy, I have been fascinated with robots, and today I have quite a collection of battery operated ones.
Little and not so little ones that roll all over the house, amuse my friends and scare their dogs.
But there are no robots that fascinate me more than the ones exploring Mars.
So today I am in mourning.
After the death of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity.
Opportunity, the longest-lived roving robot ever sent to another planet, explored the red plains of Mars for more than 14 years, snapping photos and revealing astonishing glimpses into its distant past. But on Wednesday, NASA announced that the rover is dead.
It was only supposed to last for three months, but it survived for almost fifteen years, providing evidence of what the red planet might have looked like once, and its eventual fate.
The evidence offered a picture of early Mars: a once-habitable environment that became harsh, as volcanic eruptions turned the waters acidic and the entire planet dried out.
And sending back some amazing pictures.
Like this picture of a dust devil spinning across its barren surface.
Or this one of an iron meteorite.
Before it was killed by a massive planet wide dust storm last summer.
And sent out this last message.
It was a sad end for the little rover they called Oppy.
But what an amazing journey it was...
It was of course just a robot, and a tribute to the humans who made it, landed it on Mars, and directed its mission.
But I found this cartoon both funny and sad...
So I hope that if humans ever manage to make it to Mars, that they will bring Opportunity home, and give it a place of honour in a Space Museum.
So the people of the future can be reminded of its amazing journey.
And celebrate its achievements...