This is a very hard post to write. It’s one I’ve been dreading, for years, literally years, but there’s no putting it off any longer.
Overnight last night the final, Final, FINAL ‘Wake up, please?’ commands were sent to Opportunity, the absolutely last throw of the last dice. Its been 8 months since we last heard anything from her, and even as those last commands were being beamed from Earth we all hoped against hope that Oppy would stir, and bleep back a last minute “Ha! Had you fooled! Surprise!!” reply –
But Opportunity didn’t answer.
Barring some kind of miracle it looks like this evening’s (7pm) NASA press conference will be for the announcement that Opportunity’s mission is finally over. This day was always going to come, and it’s important for everyone to remember that Oppy – which we hoped would last for 90 days after landing – survived on Mars for more than 14 *years*, making discovery after discovery, showing us fascinating new sights day after day after day. But for those of us who have followed the mission so closely, from design through construction, launch and landing and all the wonderful days beyond, this is hard, ...