NASA's Rover Opportunity has had a long stay on Mars, but unfortunately these days are now behind us. The rover was officially declared dead after a dust storm last year, his batteries remained dry and cold, preventing him from waking up.
There have been several sincere tributes to the robot in recent days and the scientific community is mourning the loss of Opportunity (or "Oppy" as it has been affectionately nicknamed) in various ways. One of these tributes has recently attracted a lot of attention on social media and for all the wrong reasons.
Author and journalist Charles Finch has published a photo of what appears to be a real tattoo of a NASA rover, as well as the phrase, "My battery is weak and black.
The sentence actually comes from a tweet that has since been misallocated to NASA. In truth, the line was written by a Twitter user to summarize the latest information that Opportunity has sent back to Earth. Moving quote, but the rover obviously did not converse with his handlers, he simply returned readings on his power level and the amount of sun hitting his solar panels.
That alone might be enough to challenge the wisdom of such a tattoo, but the situation is getting worse.
You see, the mobile described in the detailed drawing in ink is not really an opportunity. You will notice the absence of solar panels as this is a deadly image of NASA's much younger rover, the Curiosity rover, which is still alive on Mars.
The quote, which evokes the tragic fate of the rover Opportunity when the dust storm swallowed Mars and ultimately caused the death of the rover, does not really apply to Curiosity. The latter does have batteries, but its embedded nuclear power source eliminates the need for solar panels and does not need the sun to function.
This is an unfortunate circumstance for the unidentified person who has been tattooed, but it's a nice reminder to check things out before getting dirty.