The Opportunity rover’s final message from Mars was “My battery is low and it is getting dark.”

When we get there, we should build a monument to it! Intended to last 90 days and lasted for 5475! Opportunity was amazing!

@InvaderXan and if it weren't for the solar panels getting covered it'd have lasted even longer o_o

Wonder what it'd take to send a maintenance unit to provide basic cleaning services to other bots.

Main issue would be getting to them - flying isn't an easy option either with the Mars atmosphere being thinner than Earth's.

Its an interesting idea. I wonder how long it can go without power and still be revived by sunlight...

@InvaderXan @polychrome I don't know for Opportunity specifically but it depends on if they built in a mechanism to cold boot the rover. I can ask about it after breakfast if you're curious!


@InspectorCaracal @InvaderXan I think I've read about it not being able to recover, either due to not having the capacity to cold boot (doubtful) or a malfunction (more likely) but I'd be happy to hear more about this, sure :o

@polychrome @InvaderXan So it sounds like it doesn't actually have an on/off state so if it gets power again at all, if the electronics are still intact, it could be rebooted by a ping from Earth - which they've been trying.

If the problem is that the solar panels weren't blown clean enough again for it to have enough power, then the primary problem for eventual restarting is the rover won't be able to stay warm enough over the winter to avoid the electronics being destroyed.

@polychrome @InvaderXan The solar panels being covered by dust and shutting off the rover happened earlier on in the dust season but the post-storm winds cleaned the panels off enough that it could restart. This time, the panels weren't very well positioned to be hit by sunlight when the storm hit, so it's possible the panels were cleaned off a little but not enough to get sufficient power to run.

@InspectorCaracal @polychrome
Hmmm... So if it has no means of getting power, then it's probably dead. That's a pity. Though I guess it was inevitable, for a solar powered robot on a planet with frequent planet-wide dust storms, that this would be its biggest danger.

@InvaderXan @polychrome If it's just the panels being covered, it could hypothetically have the dust blown off again later, but it seems unlikely.

There's apparently some concern that it won't restart because it already got too cold overnight.

@polychrome @InspectorCaracal
I'd be interested too. I don't know so much about the technical/engineering side of these things.

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