And thus, on the rim of a deep crater a very long way from home, the story ended.
This image, released by NASA, shows the 45 kilometre journey taken by the Mars rover Opportunity, from its start-point near Eagle Crater to the point in Perseverance Valley, right on the edge of the enormous Endeavour Crater, when after sending one last message to its engineer care-givers on Earth, it fell forever silent.
The end came when it was engulfed in a giant sandstorm in June 2018, while it was in the process of moving slowly into the crater. In February 2019, unable to raise the dormant machine, NASA declared Opportunity dead, and its 15 year mission over.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.