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The Opportunity Rover

The Opportunity rover may have no more chances.

On June 8th, NASA confirmed that Opportunity would be entering sleep mode as a massive dust storm overtook part of Mars. Bill Nelson, chief of the Opportunity mission’s engineering team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Mashable that they aren’t hearing from the bot and that “it’s a bit scary.”

While Opportunity’s fate won’t be known until the storm dies down and the damage is assessed, the team still has hope. The rover was originally built to last about 90 days back in 2004 but has continued surviving and trekking the planet well beyond its expiration date. If it has beaten the odds before, it’s entirely possible again. Nelson said he’s “fairly optimistic” and believes “we may be able to recover.”

Curiosity’s selfie. Image credit: Sean Doran

Opportunity’s sister rover, on the other hand, is doing just fine. While the storm has reached Curiosity, the danger is far less lethal. In fact, it’s now enjoying a selfie as the dust closes in. No word yet on which Instagram filter it chose.

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