Mars exploration mission ends after rover disappears in dust storm

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed on Wednesday that the mission to explore Mars is over after a solar-powered robot sent to Mars went offline.

The robot contacted earth last year June and lost contact after it was enveloped in a dust storm. Efforts to revive the robot named Opportunity went unanswered.

Dr Peter Kotze, senior research fellow at Sansa says while it is sad to lose Opportunity they are grateful for the 15 years exploration on Mars.

He says the initial plan was for 90 days but it has lasted almost 15 years.

We are sad but we are also blessed for the huge amount of knowledge and information gathered during the 45 KM journey on the Red Planet.

Dr Peter Kotze, Senior research fellow - Sansa

It achieved beyond a shadow of a doubt that water once existed on the planet and that freshwater flows between the rocks on Mars and by all means, primitive form of life could've existed on Mars.

Dr Peter Kotze, Senior research fellow - Sansa

Unfortunately, it didn't have the necessary equipment or apparatus on board to search for forms of primitive life on Mars but that will be done in follow up missions which will land on Mars in 2021.

Dr Peter Kotze, Senior research fellow - Sansa

To hear the rest of the conversation on Mars, listen below:


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