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Dust Storm- Opportunity EOM, the end of the beginning of a new era in robotic spaceflight
moustifouette
post Feb 14 2019, 08:11 AM
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Hail to Opportunity, both an indomitable martian beast and our own eyes there.
Cheers for its marvellous team of skilled trainers.

kingdom of opportunity
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PDP8E
post Feb 14 2019, 11:12 PM
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Thank you mission planners, builders, and engineers. You are magnificent!
Thank you Doug for the inspiration and creation of UMSF
This loss stings, and not in the same way as other mission endings.
But there is much to look forward to.
We were lucky to live through and participate in the MER era.
And for that I am grateful




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CLA CLL
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antipode
post Feb 15 2019, 02:18 AM
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15 years is a big chunk of a life. Jobs and relationships have come and gone. Children born. Loved ones died. Economies have groaned and heaved.
Wars have been fought. Governments have come and gone. New technologies have changed all our lives.
But through all of it, Oppy carried on, reminding us that this kind of exploration should rise above the day to day noise of humanity.

I look forward to Curiosity still being around in a decade, and to MRO taking the birthday picture.

P
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stevesliva
post Feb 15 2019, 06:03 AM
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QUOTE (antipode @ Feb 14 2019, 09:18 PM) *
I look forward to Curiosity still being around in a decade, and to MRO taking the birthday picture.


I don't know bout MRO, but RTGs never die. They just slowly fade away.

Other current sources may touch zero, which turns out to be harder to anticipate and recover from.

I will miss the ambitions that grew by orders of magnitude. I will miss the crazy ideas that zooming out EVEN FARTHER might yield places you'll reach because you just keep going. There was this limitless potential at ends with engineering conservatism that is just so singular. A thing cannot exceed reasonable expectations so wildly without being more than a thing... parts and pieces that gelled into a resilient being, that's now stopped being. And that's sad and wonderful altogether.
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marsbug
post Feb 15 2019, 11:56 AM
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Fifteen years on Mars. Sleep well, for now- one day there will be the rumble of wheels, or even the tramp of boots, coming to honour the robot, and the team that worked on her, whose mission was once given at 90 days...


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climber
post Feb 15 2019, 12:50 PM
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Congratulations and greetings for sure, but sometimes, coincidences...
From Spirit "Spacecraft on internal power" on June 10th 2003 to Opp's last call on June 10th 2018... 15 years... to the day.
And June 10th is my son's birthday!!!
MER spread from its 9 to its 24 years...to the day
Can't remember live before...



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MizarKey
post Feb 15 2019, 06:41 PM
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About a week ago I was cleaning up files on my computer and I came across the early Sols of Spirit and Opportunity. It took me back to a time when every new image was exciting, especially if a 3d image could be made from them. As years went on I didn't visit the forum as much. We've been lucky to have this place to see these amazing images from these amazing machines. As I read through these posts commemorating the little rover that could and did, I can't help but shed a tear knowing that something special happened here.
I was always a little intimidated by the level of intelligence and discussion on this forum. I didn't post much but I always enjoyed the discussions of the various issues. The forum has always kept a high standard. Though it started with the MER project, it is so much more now. It is my main source of news and images of the exploration being done. May it never power down.

Thank you to all the scientists and engineers who made the exploration possible and thanks to Doug and the rest of the members for the site to be a part of the exploration.


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Eric P / MizarKey
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fredk
post Feb 15 2019, 06:48 PM
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I still vividly remember after Endurance scrolling down a big MOC image to our next destination. And scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling... And that was only Victoria!

I'll never forget scrutinizing the horizon with people here, doing triangulation, parallax, long-baseline stereo, Phil-o-vision, inverse polars, trying to get a sense of where we were and what we could see. Or spotting the Earth in pancam, or star trails around the Martian pole.

Often on these pages we've said things like "we moved 12 metres today", or "the view when we get to Victoria will be incredible". That such statements make sense is a direct result of the MER team's decision to make the jpegs public immediately. That meant we could truly take part in these missions, rather than just read news reports. And feel like we were all exploring a new world together.

Congratulations to the team on an extraordinarily complete mission.
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serpens
post Feb 15 2019, 09:39 PM
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From watching Opportunity launch (well watching twice due to the first cancellation) to the dust storm has been an amazing journey. But for all the vistas and data gathered what will remain in my memory is the engineering design and remote troubleshooting that turned a short mission in terms of time and distance into a breathtaking operational performance.
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akuo
post Feb 16 2019, 06:34 AM
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For years Spirit's and Opportunity's images were like an extra window in my house, one I could use to look into another world first thing in the morning. There were many exhilirating moments of exploration, saves through engineering wizardy and unexpected events. One moment bright in my memory is the first cleaning event, the realisation that the mission could go on longer than just a simple mission extension...

Thanks to the team for the inspiring science and uncompromising engineering. Thanks to the members of the forum for keeping the mission a collective experience through all these years of Mars and Earth.


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Antti Kuosmanen
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MarkG
post Feb 16 2019, 07:32 AM
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What a ride it has been! My thanks to all who made it possible. (JPL, take a bow...)

I remember the feeling of amazement when Opportunity returned the first photos after landing (still on the lander platform), there were LAYERED SEDIMENTS in the wall of the little crater! Blueberries!

...and then on to so many more things. For MANY years!

I now viscerally feel the magnificent desolation of Mars -- I have, in a sense, lived on another planet.

And my thanks to this forum, which greatly enhanced the enjoyment and experience. I even got a speculation or two right (remember the olivine meteorite?).

Such a journey...
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nprev
post Feb 16 2019, 10:52 AM
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Topic title changed to reflect not only Oppy's final campaign but also our thoughts and recollections.

Thanks again, old girl. Hope that on some distant day my descendants will visit you and pay respects on my behalf. smile.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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JRehling
post Feb 16 2019, 05:24 PM
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I'd never thought to do this calculation before and it may, to your taste, magnify or mask the glory of Opportunity, but the rover drove a bit over 1/500th the circumference of Mars. That, to my mind, is a striking achievement – a tiny fraction in most contexts, but the fact that it's even macroscopic on the planetary scale is stirring.

Perhaps its more humbling on a human scale to note that Opportunity's trek exceeded a marathon, and coincidentally, equals the same as the longest distance I've run in a day.

May Rosalind Franklin and Mars 2020 notch a respectable fraction of such distance.
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MoreInput
post Feb 16 2019, 09:24 PM
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I am really grateful to follow this mission since years. One of the first things I remember as young boy years ago was a newspaper article which said, that the Viking 1 mission was in 1982 still ongoing, since 6 years. That was really fascinating, and impressed me really.

The first thing about the MER mission I hear about was a documentation, which showed the efforts to build and test the rovers. I saw here with how much passion Steve Squyres get the things rolling, even with the badest setbacks (the parchute wasn't unfolded, the camera failed, etc...). When you read the book "Roving mars" you will also see how much could have also been get wrong. And I feel the passion for this mission and its two rovers never dropped any bit, and that was a important part why this mission took so long.

And then this little rover landed in a hole-in-one in a little crater. Thank you for 15 wonderful years and for the excitement and the curiosity in this mission.

I remember the first moves out of eagle crater, and the look into the wide Meridiani Planum. What a view! And lurking at the horizon: Endurance crater! Can the rover drive so far, so long? We only have 90 sols!
And every new crater showed a new perspective: Wonderful. Driving to Victoria crater: This is so long. Can we make this? Yeah! And what wonderful views of this crater.
Or driving into the Purgatory dune: Can we drive out of this? And the first dust storm, affecting both rovers: Is this the end? Not yet.

Driving to the Endeavour crater: So far away, and such a long journey to the plains of Meridiani. Finding meteorites in the plain: Wow, cool!
And the first views inside the Endeavour crater: So impressive, such a view. And so much to explore.

This mission also shows, how many ideas the engineers have to solve even the most difficult problems at a distance of hundred miles aways from home.

I would thank everyone of the MER team for this wonderful journey through the deserts of Mars.
Also thanks to the posters in this forum, for providing new panorama photos or updating the maps, so I could easily be part of this mission.

I'm not really sad that this mission ends now: I just so grateful for the last 15 years roving on Mars, to become a real explorer like the captains of the ships sailing to new continents. Opportunity became a friend, but we all knew sometimes it would end.


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Need more input ...
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Phil Stooke
post Feb 17 2019, 12:04 AM
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I was in the Orbiter Processing Facility at KSC one day near the end of the Shuttle program, and they had a big banner that said "Don't be sad that it's ending, be happy that you were part of it" (or words to that effect). That could apply here as well. Luckily, many of us got to be part of it from a distance.

Phil



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... because the Solar System ain't gonna map itself.
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