Mars rover Opportunity's last chance at life

NASA/JPL

Listen to story

00:53
Download this story 1MB

Last night, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, sent their final message to the Mars rover Opportunity, and unless they hear back it looks like the mission could be coming to an end after 15 years.

For the past 9 months scientists have been sending messages to the rover, but have heard nothing back. They lost contact after a dust storm engulfed the entire planet on June 10, 2018.

"There’s nothing to suggest things would get better. So if we haven’t heard from the rover now, the likelihood is exceedingly small that we would hear from it going forward," said John Callas, Project Manager, Mars Exploration Rovers.

NASA will announce the future of the Opportunity mission midday Wednesday.