Lost Opportunity: After a 15-Year Odyssey, NASA's Trailblazing Mars Rover Approaches Its End
Mired in dust on the afternoon of June 10, 2018, NASA’s Opportunity rover received a final command from Earth. Take a photo of the sun, the Deep Space Network sang in code. Send telemetry. The rover’s cameras could barely see through all the swirling dust, which had been blown aloft by a planet-spanning storm. The sky was darkening, and Opportunity’s batteries, powered by sunlight, were draining. The reply was grim. The last transmitted image showed solar radiation was one fortieth its pre-storm level.