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NASA prepared to bid goodbye to Mars Opportunity Rover if last attempt fails


NASA prepared to bid goodbye to Mars Opportunity Rover if last attempt fails
The agency also said it would hold a briefing Wednesday, during which it will likely officially declare the end of the mission. Image Credit: Flickr

US space agency NASA will make one final attempt to contact its Opportunity Rover on Mars late Tuesday, eight months after it last made contact. The agency also said it would hold a briefing Wednesday, during which it will likely officially declare the end of the mission.

Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and covered 45 kilometres on the planet, securing its place in history after lasting well beyond its expected 90-day mission. But a giant dust storm last year blocked sunlight from Mars, stopping Opportunity's solar-powered batteries from being able to recharge.

Despite NASA engineers' best efforts to get a response via radio channels, its last communication was on June 10, 2018. In August, NASA caused an outcry after setting a 45-day deadline before it would declare "Oppy" dead. In October, it extended the deadline to January to reevaluate the situation.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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