Opportunity’s Mission On Mars Is Complete
The rover Opportunity has been roaming over the planet Mars since January 2004 and traveled over 28 miles. It has sent back 225,000 photos of the planets surface. The information from the rover has told us that the winter is twice as long as Earth’s winters. Since it is longer than Earths winters the scientists didn’t expect the rover to last as long as it has. To ensure that the rover would still be able to send back information during the winter they tilted the solar panels northward to catch more sunlight. The solar days (the time it takes to rotate on its axis) on Mars are about 40 minutes longer than on Earth.
Opportunity has found that ancient Mars had ground and surface water. During its time on Mars it has sent back information on a network of possible rock stripes that form mountain slopes. Rock stripes are made of silt, sand, and gravel that forms when the surface freezes and thaws over time.
Scientists have not had any response from Opportunity since June 2018 after a dust storm on the planet. They have concluded that the mission for the Opportunity Rover is now complete and the project close out phase will begin.