Rest well, rover. Your mission is complete.
February 13, 2019 11:25 AM   Subscribe

"To the robot who turned 90 days into 15 years of exploration: You were, and are, the Opportunity of a lifetime. Rest well, rover. Your mission is complete. (2004-2019)"
Sarah Kaplan, WaPo: Opportunity, NASA’s record-setting Mars rover, is declared dead after 15 years. Opportunity’s mission was planned to last just 90 days, but it worked for 5,000 Martian “sols” and traversed more than 28 treacherous miles — two records for NASA. (Previously, and more at NASA's Mars page.)
posted by RedOrGreen (156 comments total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by Ipsifendus at 11:30 AM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by anadem at 11:31 AM on February 13, 2019


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posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:31 AM on February 13, 2019


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posted by bile and syntax at 11:32 AM on February 13, 2019


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posted by strixus at 11:33 AM on February 13, 2019


I trust they're going to bring it home and give it a decent burial now. It's the least they can do.
posted by Naberius at 11:34 AM on February 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


xkcd, imagining a better world
posted by straight at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2019 [15 favorites]


A farewell from xkcd.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:35 AM on February 13, 2019 [37 favorites]


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Gone but not forgotten
posted by Pendragon at 11:36 AM on February 13, 2019


XKCD has a good send off: https://xkcd.com/2111/

Doh, double beaten to the post!
posted by codewheeney at 11:36 AM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


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Magnificent job, bold little rover - sweet dreams.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 11:38 AM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


I remember eating good luck JPL peanuts and watching both rovers land, it was amazing.

The project lead, Steve Squyers, wrote a great book (Roving Mars) about the program and the early trials after landing.

#ThankYouOppy
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:41 AM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


“I always knew it was going to end,” he said. “And boy, if this is the end … getting killed by one of the most ferocious storms we have ever seen. Well, you can walk away from that with your head held high.”

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As for Opportunity, its metal shell will remain in the spot where it sent its last message, on the rim of Endeavour Crater. “It’s always going to be there,” Zurbuchen said, “like a monument, or a shipwreck.”

It is a marker of where humanity has been. And a beacon for whatever comes next.


Godspeed, little rover.
posted by vacapinta at 11:42 AM on February 13, 2019 [49 favorites]


I joked about a better world, but NASA got it pretty darned right in this one. Nice job everyone.
posted by straight at 11:42 AM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


For a 90 day mission, I think it did pretty good.

And, for one, I disagree with the idea of bringing Opportunity back to Earth for any reason at all. We **SHOULD** send a manned mission to Mars to repair and refurbish it and let it continue rolling talking, taking pictures, and doing its thing forever. Or at least to build a monument on Mars around it to honor how hard it worked.

Opportunity is a Martian though, we shouldn't take it from its native environment to ours.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on February 13, 2019 [19 favorites]


Oppy's just waiting for when some real-life Mark Watney needs her.
But for now, a dot. My first, I think.
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posted by martin q blank at 11:43 AM on February 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


I've posted this several times here over the years, but this is likely the last time I will post it.

Duet On Mars - John Updike
Said Spirit to Opportunity,
“I’m feeling rather frail,
With too much in my memory,
Plus barrels of e-mail.”
Responded Opportunity,
“My bounce was not so bad,
But now they send me out to see
These dreary rocks, bedad!”
“It’s cold up here, and rather red,”
Sighed Spirit. “I feel faint.”
Good Opportunity then said,
“Crawl on, without complaint!
“This planet needs our shovels’ bite
And treadmarks in the dust
To tell if life and hematite
Pervade its arid crust.”
“There’s life, by all the stars above,
On Mars—it’s you and I!”
Blithe Spirit cried. “Let’s rove, my love,
And meet before we die!”
No, I'm not crying! YOU'RE crying. Godspeed, brave robot friends.
posted by hippybear at 11:44 AM on February 13, 2019 [38 favorites]


From a post on a no-longer-available Tumblr:
gosh but like we spent hundreds of years looking up at the stars and wondering “is there anybody out there” and hoping and guessing and imagining

because we as a species were so lonely and we wanted friends so bad, we wanted to meet other species and we wanted to talk to them and we wanted to learn from them and to stop being the only people in the universe

and we started realizing that things were maybe not going so good for us– we got scared that we were going to blow each other up, we got scared that we were going to break our planet permanently, we got scared that in a hundred years we were all going to be dead and gone and even if there were other people out there, we’d never get to meet them

and then

we built robots?

and we gave them names and we gave them brains made out of silicon and we pretended they were people and we told them hey you wanna go exploring, and of course they did, because we had made them in our own image

and maybe in a hundred years we won’t be around any more, maybe yeah the planet will be a mess and we’ll all be dead, and if other people come from the stars we won’t be around to meet them and say hi! how are you! we’re people, too! you’re not alone any more!, maybe we’ll be gone

but we built robots, who have beat-up hulls and metal brains, and who have names; and if the other people come and say, who were these people? what were they like?

the robots can say, when they made us, they called us discovery; they called us curiosity; they called us explorer; they called us spirit. they must have thought that was important.

and they told us to tell you hello.
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posted by Lexica at 11:44 AM on February 13, 2019 [182 favorites]


Talk about an overachiever! RIP, Opportunity, you did a really good job.
posted by subocoyne at 11:53 AM on February 13, 2019


Jeez Lexica, make me tear up already.
posted by emjaybee at 11:53 AM on February 13, 2019 [17 favorites]


Yes it's amazing that our solar system has a planet inhabited entirely by robots. Mars: The Robot Planet.
posted by straight at 11:54 AM on February 13, 2019 [31 favorites]


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posted by scruffy-looking nerfherder at 11:56 AM on February 13, 2019


Fucking superb, you funky little robot.
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posted by merriment at 11:57 AM on February 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


🤖
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:59 AM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


"Today we learned that the planet-wide dust storm that swept The Robot Planet last year has wiped out a third of the population, although there were a few additional survivors that were orbiting the planet."
posted by straight at 12:02 PM on February 13, 2019 [23 favorites]


. and thank you
posted by destructive cactus at 12:05 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


That'll do, robot. That'll do.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:05 PM on February 13, 2019 [23 favorites]


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posted by zengargoyle at 12:07 PM on February 13, 2019


What an exceptional achievement. The engineers and scientists who dreamed up this whole program (20(?) years ago!) deserve a huge hand - exceptional praise. 90 days planned for, 15 years actually deployed! Truly America at its best.

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posted by From Bklyn at 12:07 PM on February 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


What an amazing run. Thank you, JPL. Thank you, Oppy.

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posted by rp at 12:07 PM on February 13, 2019


Rest well, rover. Your mission is complete.

I can't be the only one literally tearing up at my desk like a sap.

This is truly part of the best of humanity, and it gives me hope for the future.

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posted by Salieri at 12:08 PM on February 13, 2019 [10 favorites]


Translating from a comic i saw floating earlier (will post again if i can find it):

Death comes to take Oppy.
- IT IS TIME TO GO.
- Tell me, was i a good rover?
- NO
THEY TELL ME YOU WERE THE BEST ROVER

I think Terry Pratchet would have been ok with that.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 12:09 PM on February 13, 2019 [71 favorites]


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posted by gc at 12:10 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by twilightlost at 12:11 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by Sphinx at 12:12 PM on February 13, 2019


So, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

-Byron
posted by BeeDo at 12:12 PM on February 13, 2019 [27 favorites]


That was a good fucking rover.

Cheers, Oppy. You done well. Take a rest, you deserve it.

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posted by bondcliff at 12:13 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]



posted by Quackles at 12:18 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to focus on how this is more a celebration of a life well lived and less a life no longer living.

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posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM on February 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I knew a few folks who worked on the rover and the mission and the amount of righteous pride they had about extending its mission cannot be understated. (I'd be obnoxious about it)
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:20 PM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


>I can't be the only one literally tearing up at my desk like a sap.

Nope.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:20 PM on February 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 12:20 PM on February 13, 2019


⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀     [°=°]
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ |
⠀⠀⠀⠀  _______| __ |__
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ \_|/==\_|_
. . . . . . . . . .   (o):(o):(o)
posted by Kabanos at 12:22 PM on February 13, 2019 [36 favorites]


>I can't be the only one literally tearing up at my desk like a sap.

There's a sudden Martian dust storm in my cubicle.
posted by briank at 12:23 PM on February 13, 2019 [19 favorites]


Wow, what a good rover. A quarter of Earth's population has never known a world where Opportunity wasn't rolling around up there sending back pictures.
posted by lucidium at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


Thank you, Opportunity. An existence well spent; your reports will be missed.
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posted by Silverstone at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2019


🤖
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2019


my phone battery dies after 3 years but everyone go on about federal employee efficiency

Ad astra per aspera, Opportunity.
posted by GuyZero at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2019 [16 favorites]


Opportunity knocks off.
posted by Kabanos at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Although these sentiments are genuine, I think they are misplaced. Consider how slowly erosion occurs on Mars; dust only; no water to speak of.

Although it's electron blood has stopped flowing, that diligent rover will perch on the edge of that crater for millions of years until the grit blasts it apart, long after all the little murder-bipeds strutting about on Sol III have disappeared into the fossil record, along with all the spires and hovels they slapped together out of scrapings from the ground.

Opportunity may for millennia commemorate our brief existence, but will never return the favour of mourning our passing.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:29 PM on February 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


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posted by Faint of Butt at 12:32 PM on February 13, 2019


No. I choose not to believe that. I choose to believe that before I die there will be a museum on Mars on that very edge of that very crater, whether open air or not, and it will be a pilgrimage for some who were born here to see it, and it will be a fucking suburb for some who were born nearby.

That's the future I want for us. Not flaming out into ignominious darkness, but blazing forth into a bright future of quiet, competent colonization of the stars.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:32 PM on February 13, 2019 [22 favorites]


And who is to say, if some far-flung alien civilization were to one day find Opportunity, repair it, and uplift it to sentience, what thoughts the tenacious robot might have of it's long-dead creators?
posted by straight at 12:35 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


We **SHOULD** send a manned mission to Mars to repair and refurbish it and let it continue rolling talking, taking pictures, and doing its thing forever.

Ship of Theseus Rover of Opportunity
posted by curious nu at 12:36 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's going to be a mindfuck for future Earthlings to get to Mars and discover this primitive robot, maybe for a time they'll think it was native, instead of a relic from an ancient Earth civilization.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:38 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]




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14 years old. That's crazy to think about. Things that work for 56 times designed lifetime. The fact that we don't shovel money at NASA and just let capitalism exploit stuff they leave in their wake will never make sense to me.
posted by DigDoug at 12:44 PM on February 13, 2019 [21 favorites]




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posted by Caduceus at 12:46 PM on February 13, 2019


I can't be the only one literally tearing up at my desk like a sap.
Nope.

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posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:47 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Good-bye little buddy.  No measly Terran years for you, you were nearly 8 on your real home planet.  No sad farewells either, you brave little robot, tonight you feast in Valhalla!
And no one can convince me otherwise.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 12:49 PM on February 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


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posted by solotoro at 12:51 PM on February 13, 2019


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Godspeed, little rover.
posted by Quasirandom at 12:57 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by suelac at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by introp at 1:01 PM on February 13, 2019




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posted by redrawturtle at 1:02 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by sleeping bear at 1:03 PM on February 13, 2019


Thank you Rover. Thank you for letting us dream.
posted by AugustWest at 1:08 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


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Liz Climo FTW
posted by MrGuilt at 1:11 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


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posted by inexorably_forward at 1:12 PM on February 13, 2019


I want to desperately believe that it will awake one day. But that is the dream of humanity, that lost things are found and that all that is loved awake from slumber refreshed.
posted by jadepearl at 1:13 PM on February 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


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posted by zombieflanders at 1:14 PM on February 13, 2019


A damn fine rover which did a damn fine job. I'm sad and proud and a few other things mixed in.

I have to imagine that the landing sites chosen for the rovers have a decent chance at being chosen for future missions with people on them, right? Like, a good candidate for one is likely a good candidate for another. It would be really great if we could give Opportunity a little marker, a medal for its service, and protect its shell from being blown away or something.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:16 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


I heard NASA had scheduled a press conference re:Opportunity, and I knew this had to be it. Sad day.


.......................... .
posted by Thorzdad at 1:17 PM on February 13, 2019


Goodbye, good little space robot. You were a good space robot.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:18 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


SAL-9000: Will I dream?
Dr. Chandra: Of course you will. All intelligent beings dream. Nobody knows why. Perhaps you will dream of HAL ... just as I often do.
I can't be the only one literally tearing up at my desk like a sap.

I guess it's just the accumulated stresses of all the ambient shittiness, but I've been tearing up all day over this.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:19 PM on February 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


The Times has an interactive map of the mission that is well worth looking at on the biggest monitor you can.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:19 PM on February 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


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posted by sammyo at 1:35 PM on February 13, 2019


Opportunity may for millennia commemorate our brief existence, but will never return the favour of mourning our passing.

Opportunity is an amazing machine, a wonder in its design, construction, operation, and delivery to Mars. I do not mourn the thing; but I think it is not wrong to feel grief at the passing of a marvel of human ingenuity, for it gave us a reminder of what was possible, that we can do such things. It showed us more of our universe. It sparked imagination and understanding. It did it's job, alone, in the cold, uncaring universe, for as long as it could. Opportunity will never mourn us, but why should we expect reciprocity? Can we not mourn what it represented, to us?

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posted by nubs at 1:35 PM on February 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


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posted by notyou at 1:36 PM on February 13, 2019


Did not expect to get so emotional, but damn, this thread.

It's like our long serving, adopted dog has passed on.

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posted by gwint at 1:36 PM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]



posted by fader at 1:38 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by ZeusHumms at 1:40 PM on February 13, 2019


15/10, buddy.
posted by praemunire at 1:42 PM on February 13, 2019 [10 favorites]


Looking at the NY Time map that fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit posted, I'm taken back to a summer I spent poring over and filing aerial images of the moon, and I think of all of the years of graduate studies that will be used produced from the photos and data. So many outcrops, and so many craters. Godspeed, Opportunity!
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 1:46 PM on February 13, 2019


bye bye opportunity
posted by nikaspark at 1:47 PM on February 13, 2019


Previously:
RIP Spirit

I will also always remember when Spirit had a LiveJournal.

It seems practically impossible now, but maybe if we haven't all blown each other up or drowned each other in the rising tide before then, one of us or one of our descendents will get to pay their respects to Spirit and Opportunity in person.
posted by chrominance at 2:02 PM on February 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


I am an avowed "humans will go extinct before even beginning to form extraplqnnetary societies" person, but I love sci-fi and I love the way it picks the imagination.

And if anything starts it starts with something like this.

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posted by East14thTaco at 2:02 PM on February 13, 2019


If I ever try to act like a tough guy please feel free to remind me about the time on February 13, 2019 that I made myself cry reading letters to a dying space robot.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:11 PM on February 13, 2019 [38 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 2:17 PM on February 13, 2019


Clay lies still, but blood's a rover
Breath's a ware that will not keep
Up lad, when the journey's over
There'll be time enough for sleep
--AE Housman
posted by librosegretti at 2:23 PM on February 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I wrote this song for Opportunity a few years ago, shortly after Curiosity landed, when its mission had already stretched far beyond expectations. Sung to the tune of "The Wild Rover."

Oh, I've been a Mars rover for many a year
Since the day we crash-landed on this ruddy sphere
From crater to crater I've tirelessly rolled
Seeking out signs of water, more precious than gold

Chorus:
But it's no, nay, never,
No nay never no more
Will I play the Mars rover
No never, no more

Six more verses here.
posted by fermion at 2:24 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


From the scientists' eulogies linked by not_the_water:

I know I’m not the only one who has a story who thinks that Spirit and Opportunity flipped a switch in their heads and said “oh my gosh, I’d love to pursue a career in math or in science to be able to something like this for a career,” whether it be a rover or doing science. (Abby Fraeman, deputy project scientist, who has been involved with the mission since she was a teenager, moving from a student program to working as a summer associate to becoming a member of the team.)

Survived by their children.

posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 2:26 PM on February 13, 2019 [10 favorites]


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posted by djseafood at 2:33 PM on February 13, 2019


My daughter asked yesterday about Rover because she was watching some science videos including one about the launch of Rover. I said well, it's not coming back to Earth, it's on Mars forever now and I think it's stopped working. But it's not dead! I added as she teared up. It's gone to sleep, and someday when we go to Mars and build homes there, we'll find Rover again and wake it up and build a new home for it to live in so it can explore again.

She now wants to know if Mars will need investigative journalists, her current job ambition (she is 7, I do not want to crush all her hopes yet).

Yes. Dream of Mars and journalism and Rover. And someday I think we will have someone picking there way across Mars to where Rover sits patiently, silently, and restoring what's lost. Maybe Rover won't turn back on, but Rover will be found.

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posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:36 PM on February 13, 2019 [17 favorites]


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posted by Gray Duck at 2:52 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by of strange foe at 3:01 PM on February 13, 2019


This just makes me so sad. As a crouton petting space enthusiast, I mourn the end of a dream and an era of optimism.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:04 PM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


Thank you, rover.

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posted by pointystick at 3:06 PM on February 13, 2019


I will not shed a tear for a... aw hell. I suppose I will.
posted by Splunge at 3:10 PM on February 13, 2019


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But I'd wager humans will be in contact (maybe even in person!) with it again within the next 50 years. Probably won't be around for it myself, so I'll just say enjoy your extended nap little rover.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


For the record, this is my first time in tears over a robot if we won't count Wall-E, and I didn't cry nearly so hard that time.

Thank you for all of your hard, dry, red, cold, dusty work, Opportunity. You have always been incredibly amazing.
posted by vers at 3:26 PM on February 13, 2019


I always knew it was going to end,” he said. “And boy, if this is the end … getting killed by one of the most ferocious storms we have ever seen.

Obviously NASA restricting themselves to solar panels was a mistake. Their next lander should carry little windmills on its back.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:32 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


ROBOT FEELINGS
posted by poffin boffin at 3:37 PM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


To quote another “galvanized friend”: Now I know I’ve got a heart, because it’s breaking.
posted by elphaba at 3:45 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


My hope is that someday we, or the sentient robots we help create, will have an opportunity to stop by and pat Oppy on the shoulder, say "well done" and it give it the recognition it deserves as a pioneer for our species.

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posted by OHenryPacey at 3:48 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


@SarcasticRover gets sappy:
I hope somewhere in your diodes and processors, mixed in with all your geological sensors, you could sense the inspiration you gave humanity. I hope you felt the love they had for you — the way you made science seem so close and so possible. The way you made a planet millions of miles away seem as close as next door.

I hope you knew that children wanted to be you when they grew up. That little human beings wished they could be a robot like you and explore the solar system.

I suppose this is your chance to know that.
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posted by peeedro at 3:51 PM on February 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


So uh I definitely haven’t been crying about this robot all day or anything but one thing that made me happy was thinking about how fucking excited any human Martian explorers will be when they find the Opportunity. A thing of legend! A science hero! A very good robot! And how they’ll probably take it back to Big Mars Research City and turn him back on, and they’ll be like “welcome to the future you glorious robot, you did it. You really did it.” Anyway I’m definitely still not crying.
posted by a hat out of hell at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Alison Wilgus' web comic Pilgrimage is an homage to another famous martian.
posted by endotoxin at 4:01 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Someday someone will repair her and uplift her and return the favor and show her some cool stuff.

Until then
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posted by otherchaz at 4:08 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


JPL was my first internship out of undergrad---in 2002---on MER...

...writing glue networking code for helping simulator software packages talk to each other; probably something that a full-timer could have knocked out in a couple of days; nothing I wrote ever went into space (that's probably good), and it might well have been binned just as I walked out the door. It was an incredible experience, anyway, and I'm very glad to have been a fly on the wall there.

I was closest to folks working on software for roving (hence simulation), and on computer vision specifically. I think most people I knew had a positive attitude about the rovers being able to get around pretty well if they made it to Mars, but that attitude was built on a solid understanding about the systems they were building, and about how all kinds of contingencies would be dealt with. (As you would probably expect.)

I remember a few times in work conversations where someone brought up the cost of the program, but more as a kind of shorthand for the importance of getting it right, and for the trust that everyone (for some fairly sweeping sense of that word) was putting in the project and the people working on it.

I would not have predicted being as bald as I am by the time the last rover stopped. I raise my glass to the rovers on Mars but also to the teams that built them and flew them there.
posted by tss at 4:11 PM on February 13, 2019 [17 favorites]


If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a alien field
That is for ever Opportunity. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom Opportunity bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of Opportunity, breathing Martian air,
Washed by the dust rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by Opportunity given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an Martian heaven.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:14 PM on February 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


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posted by fremen at 4:14 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by Token Meme at 4:26 PM on February 13, 2019




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posted by amelliferae at 4:50 PM on February 13, 2019


I'm literally tearing up about this and I have no idea why but Jesus...

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posted by ninazer0 at 4:52 PM on February 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Some croutons are worth petting.

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posted by RolandOfEld at 5:20 PM on February 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


Opportunity was a fine photographer, posting the lonliest and most beautiful views of Mars. I went to Mars every day for the longest time. Sweet silence to you. I can't believe you are over. Red rover! Red rover, send Opportunity right over!
posted by Oyéah at 5:22 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Robots: when they made us, they called us discovery; they called us curiosity; they called us explorer; they called us spirit. they must have thought that was important.

and they told us to tell you hello.


Aliens: Cool but what's going on with the car you've got in orbit?

Robots: wait what?
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:28 PM on February 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Other people have said similar things above, but it bears repeating. I love that as we as a species reach out further into space some of the amazing things we'll discover will be our former selves, represented by our technological friends.

*raising a glass to that aforementioned museum on Mars*
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:36 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


(plz no v'ger)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:40 PM on February 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


It ran so long, so far past its spec: that is some hard-fuckin’-core, perfection-oriented, zero-flaw engineering.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:41 PM on February 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


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posted by TwoStride at 6:01 PM on February 13, 2019


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John Rogers (of 27% Crazification Factor fame and Leverage and lots of other stuff) wrote this extremely charming short story for Wired for what to do with a 5-year-old who was despondent over a Mars rover that could never come home. Made me tear up quite a bit after re-reading it today.
posted by ssmith at 6:09 PM on February 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


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posted by allthinky at 6:45 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by monopas at 7:18 PM on February 13, 2019


I like to think something like this happens for Oppy in the future.
posted by tavella at 8:15 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's heartening to see so many people who feel personally affected by this news. I felt sad when I learned about the end of Opportunity's mission, as I feel sad about all the other robot explorers who have orbited, landed on, and traversed various astronomical bodies and journeyed through space. But all the Mars rovers, like the Vikings, Voyagers, Venery, Lunokhody, Yutu, and many others are also a jolting reminder of what we can accomplish when we're not busy fucking things up.
posted by a certain Sysoi Pafnut'evich at 8:20 PM on February 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I think the most important lesson NASA learned in 1994 from Dante II falling into the volcano was not to make their robots look like giant mechanical spiders. Nobody shed a tear for that monster.
posted by peeedro at 9:47 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well done, good and faithful rover.

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posted by bryon at 10:24 PM on February 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Dammit, I held it together when I read the actual news but all these tributes have undone me. Goodnight and thank you, Oppy.
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(also I am so grateful for this corner of the interwebs, where I am not the only one crying in an office cubicle about a dead space robot. Thank you, MeFites! ❤️)
posted by Nieshka at 11:15 PM on February 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


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posted by wym at 11:52 PM on February 13, 2019


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posted by bcd at 12:02 AM on February 14, 2019


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posted by monotreme at 12:04 AM on February 14, 2019


I found XKCD's tribute unexpectedly touching.

(Linked by ipsifendus above)
posted by Harald74 at 12:14 AM on February 14, 2019


When it landed 15 years ago I bought the Lego version for my nephews and showed them this animation of how the landing process worked. Its pretty amazing as landings go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tma2pt0k6UQ
posted by memebake at 2:24 AM on February 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


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posted by Gelatin at 3:09 AM on February 14, 2019


.-.-.'
posted by sexyrobot at 3:11 AM on February 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


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posted by Jubey at 3:29 AM on February 14, 2019


this animation of how the landing process worked. Its pretty amazing as landings go.

It's even more amazing when you add the right soundtrack: NIN to Mars
posted by hippybear at 4:15 AM on February 14, 2019


He’s not dead, he’s pining.
posted by darkstar at 5:50 AM on February 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


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posted by Mitheral at 6:03 AM on February 14, 2019


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posted by Faintdreams at 7:21 AM on February 14, 2019


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posted by Canageek at 9:07 AM on February 14, 2019


I like to think something like this happens for Oppy in the future.

Never gonna not think of Voyager 1 as a giant fuckin nerd from now on.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:21 AM on February 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


So much crying lately that I am surprised to find I have some tears left for this little robot. Maybe time to read 17776 again...

To quote another “galvanized friend”: Now I know I’ve got a heart, because it’s breaking.
posted by elphaba at 3:45 PM on February 13


eponysterical

posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:29 AM on February 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


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posted by ikahime at 10:05 AM on February 14, 2019


In a documentary I saw hundreds of sols ago, the engineers had a nickname for Opportunity, "Little Miss Perfect", because she was always just fine, no matter what happened. I always wondered what the nickname for Spirit was...
posted by wnissen at 10:10 AM on February 14, 2019


Liz Climo FTW

Not quite. THIS one is FTW.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:47 PM on February 14, 2019


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posted by sarcasticah at 3:32 PM on February 14, 2019


Aw, damn. I was doing okay until I learned that the last communication that Mission Control sent to the little rover was a song.

They literally sang her to sleep.

The song was Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The last few lines:
I’ll find you
In the morning sun
And when the night is new.
I’ll be looking at the moon,
But I’ll be seeing you.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 7:01 PM on February 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


Oh great, thanks. Now I'm crying again.
posted by hippybear at 10:24 PM on February 14, 2019


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posted by Quietgal at 8:00 PM on February 15, 2019


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Good girl, Oppy.
posted by nicebookrack at 1:50 PM on February 17, 2019


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