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End of the Opportunity Mission. We're Proud of You.

Angelenos Were the First to Tour the Martian Surface

Artist Conception of Mars Rover

Artist conception of Mars Rover "Opportunity." Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/Cornell University.

After 15 years, NASA announced the end of the mission for Opporunity Mars Rover. The two Mars rovers, Spirit (ceased operating in 2010) and Opportunity, were built and operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County. Opportunity launched in 2003, and landed on the Martian surface in 2004. Its mission was expected to last only about 90 Martian days and cover about 1,100 yards, however, the golf-cart-sized rover continued operating for almost 15 years and more than 28 miles. Along the way, not only did Opportunity set the off-world driving record, but it discovered definitive proof of liquid water on ancient Mars. In June 2018, a Martian dust storm caused it to cease recharging and communicating. Hoping that Martian winds might blow the dust off its solar panels and after more than a thousand failed communication attempts, NASA, on February 13, 2019, declared Opportunity's mission ended. Goodbye, friend. We're proud that Angelenos (or La Cañada Flintridgers, to be exact) became the first to tour the Martian surface.

Self-Portrait of Mars Rover Opportunity Shadow, 2004

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Above, a dramatic self-portrait featuring Opportunity Rover's shadow on July 26, 2004. The rover was then moving farther into Mars's "Endurance Crater."

Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, 2002

Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL.

Above, two generations of Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

Source: NASA/JPL

L.A. Video

L.A. Videos
Opportunity: NASA Rover Completes Mars Mission, 2019

Opportunity: NASA Rover Completes Mars Mission, 2019

Travel with the Mars rover Opportunity, with descriptions by the scientists and engineers behind its mission.