18 years ago, rover Opportunity landed on Mars

On January 25, 2004, exactly 18 years ago, NASA's rover Opportunity landed on Mars. It was the second of the agency's twin rovers to land on the Red Planet, three weeks after its mission companion Spirit.

Controlled by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Opportunity landed on Mars at 14:05 a.m., Brasília time, and became the longest rovers mission on Mars.

Designed to run for 90 days, the Opportunity rover worked for nearly 15 years on Mars. Image: JPL – NASA

Originally, the scientists intended the rover to work on Martian soil for 90 days, but Opportunity walked around the Red Planet for more than 50 times the estimate.

Over the years, the rover has found meteorites, observed dust storms and looked for clues about the presence of water in Mars' past.

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Rover Opportunity worked on Mars for nearly 15 years

In February 2019, Opportunity officially ceased responding to NASA commands, 5,352 days after landing. Through the connection with the robot, the researchers sent a song as a last command: 'I'll Be Seeing You', by singer Billie Holiday.

It was the last attempt to get an answer from the rover, which got stuck in a sandstorm that covered its solar panels, which prevented it from getting power to continue its trajectory across the Red Planet.

Last year, it was announced that he will earn a fair tribute. The Opportunity mission and the bond established between the robot and the scientists who created it will be made into a movie.

“Good Night Oppy,” directed by Ryan White, is being produced by Amazon Studios, in partnership with Film 45, Amblin Television and Tripod Media.

The documentary, which has the support of JPL and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), does not yet have a scheduled release date.

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