Nasa declares Mars rover dead after 15 years on planet

Six-wheeled vehicle Opportunity was built to operate for just three months

15 years after it landed on Mars, Nasa's Opportunity rover has completed its mission. Originally designed to run for 90 days, Opportunity discovered definitive proof of liquid water on ancient Mars. Video: Nasa

 

Nasa’s longest-running rover on Mars, Opportunity, has been pronounced dead — 15 years after it landed on the red planet.

The six-wheeled vehicle was built to operate for just three months.

But it kept going and going until it was finally doomed by a ferocious dust storm eight months ago.

Flight controllers made numerous attempts to contact it and sent one final series of recovery commands on Tuesday night, accompanied by one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s I’ll Be Seeing You.

There was no response, only silence.

Remarkably agile until communication ended last June, Opportunity roamed a record 28 miles around Mars.

Opportunity and its long-dead twin rover, Spirit, found evidence that ancient Mars had water flowing on its surface and might have been capable of sustaining microbial life.– AP