Mars Rover Opportunity Has Died And The Internet Has Erupted In Feels

Mars Rover Opportunity Has Died And The Internet Has Erupted In Feels

Opportunity has died and the internet has decided to immortalize the Martian rover in memes.

Opportunity Mars Rover launched from Cape Canaveral on July 7th, 2003. It was initially supposed to launch June 28th, but poor weather caused a bit of a delay. That and a faulty valve. But after replacing a few bits, Opportunity was catapulted skyward at an ever-increasing velocity to make its 6-month journey to Mars.

Opportunity arrived on Mars on January 25th, 2004. Its arrival was somewhat tumultuous--Mars doesn’t have an atmosphere to offer much drag for a parachute landing, so instead, Opportunity deployed a number of airbags to the point where it looked like a triangular Michelin Man. It looked ridiculous, but it worked.

via Reddit

After a short delay as Opportunity got itself situated, the little robot began broadcasting signals to Earth--a journey which took 13 minutes on average, although it could be as little as 6 minutes or as many as 24 minutes depending on where Earth and Mars are in their relative orbits of the Sun.

For the next 15 years, Opportunity sent back more data about Mars than any other rover before. Opportunity’s solar panels and battery were only intended to last 90 days, but instead they lasted over 60 times longer.

via XKCD

On June 10th, 2018, Opportunity reported that an extremely large, planetary-scale dust storm was approaching. Its last message was: "my battery is low and it's getting dark." Then it fell silent.


NASA engineers believed at the time that Opportunity’s panels had become coated in dust and caused it to enter a protective shutdown mode. The dust storm relented after a few weeks, but 835 broadcasts from August 2018 to January 2019 failed to revive the fallen rover.

Mars Rover Opportunity Has Died And The Internet Has Erupted In Feels
via Reddit

On February 13th, 2019, NASA announced the official end of the Opportunity mission. "It is because of trailblazing missions such as Opportunity that there will come a day when our brave astronauts walk on the surface of Mars," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "And when that day arrives, some portion of that first footprint will be owned by the men and women of Opportunity, and a little rover that defied the odds and did so much in the name of exploration.

“Farewell, Opportunity, and well done."

But it wasn’t just NASA that cared deeply about little Opportunity. Through adorable stories of how Opportunity sang itself happy birthday every year to the amazing discoveries that Opportunity sent back to Earth, the Mars-rover-that-could inspired a generation of internet-savvy fans.

via Reddit

So when Opportunity died, they responded in the best and only tribute they could offer: memes.

Rest easy Opportunity. You will forever live on in our hearts. And in a large database of memes that’s disseminated over the world wide web.

via Reddit


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