NASA continues to send rovers to Mars and the red planet does not stop killing them


Fifteen years ago, Opportunity landed on the Red Planet for a mission supposed to last a little over 90 days.

But even though she may not have had the chance to unpack her bags with this kind of delay, Oppy has far exceeded her original life.

rover of opportunity

NASA rover Opportunity artist concept on the surface of Mars.

NASA / JPL / Cornell University / Maas Digital

The Little Rover That could travel 5,352 soils (the equivalent of 5,498 terrestrial days) over a distance of more than 45 km and transmit valuable data to researchers. This included discoveries showing signs of water on the planet in the past and evidence that Mars could have supported the old microbial life.

All that bodes well for us humans as we think about to travel on Mars in the future, thanks to our rather unfortunate dependence on water.

But while Opportunity survived for eight Martian years and lived much longer than his mobile twin in the Mars Exploration Robot Program (the same positive spirit), the Earth lost contact with her in 2018 and finally declared the mission complete in February 2019.

While the world has cried the loss of a particularly adorable and useful robot, there remains one question: why does Mars continue to kill everything we filmed there?

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Another Martian rover bites the dust, but NASA is not over …


In the episode of this week's Watch this placewe take a look at Opportunity's death and the fate of the rovers that preceded him. Why were they sent to Mars? What conditions did they have to overcome to survive? And how did Mars eventually kill them all?

From the science we have learned along the way to the next stages of Martian discovery, we examine everything that the rovers of the world have achieved and what the next phase of Mars' exploration will look like.

Because, while Mars may have claimed NASA's little Wall-E rover, it will not stop us from launching more rovers and getting them back on the planet before humans also head for Mars.

To learn more about the death of NASA's little Wall-E rover and what we still have in store for Mars, check out this week's Watch This Space episode. You can repair your space every Friday with new episodes, or catch up on the entire series on CNET or YouTube.

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