opprover
A NASA illustration shows what Opportunity would look like on Mars.

NASA appears to be convening its leadership to deliver a eulogy for its Mars rover, Opportunity.

The space agency has scheduled a briefing Wednesday, when it will announce the results of final attempts to contact the solar-powered robot that’s roamed the Red Planet since 2004.

NASA lost contact with Opportunity during a planet-wide dust storm last June and hope has slowly faded since that the bot will phone home. Because the rover is solar-powered, it would be unable to charge its batteries and operate if its solar panels have been covered by a significant amount of dust.

Opportunity had an initial goal of covering 700 yards (640 meters) and operating for just 90 days on the surface of Mars. It exceeded expectations more than 50-fold by staying operational for over 14 years.

Speculation from the astronomy community online is that NASA…