After 15 years, the Mars Opportunity rover’s mission has ended

Updated 3:11 AM EST, Thu February 14, 2019
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(CNN) —  

It’s time to say goodbye to Opportunity. The Mars rover’s team made its last attempt to contact Opportunity on Tuesday night, and it went unanswered. On Wednesday, NASA confirmed that the mission is over.

The agency held a news conference to detail the results of recovery efforts since a dust storm encircled Mars last year.

“For more than a decade, Opportunity has been an icon in the field of planetary exploration, teaching us about Mars’ ancient past as a wet, potentially habitable planet and revealing uncharted Martian landscapes,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Whatever loss we feel now must be tempered with the knowledge that the legacy of Opportunity continues, both on the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover and InSight lander and in the clean rooms of [NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory], where the upcoming Mars 2020 rover is taking shape.”