Opportunity, the Mars rover, was a PR feather in NASA’s cap for 15 years.  Now, it is dead.  It was designed to last three months but it kept going and going and going for 28 miles and dozens of discoveries.  Opportunity proved that a mobile instrument package could survive the harsh environment of another planet.  It is a tribute to scientific engineering and NASA’s leadership in outer space exploration.  It answered the question of how one should build a robot that has to operate far from human control. It takes 10 minutes for messages to reach Mars from earth and the Martian day is not the same length.  The scientists and engineers who monitored its progress for the 15 years were privileged to work with Opportunity.  Now they will move onto other projects, but the history-making robot won’t be forgotten. 

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