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NASA’s longest-running Mars rover declared dead after 15 years

Mars Rover Opportunity at Rock Abrasion Target 'Potts'
The image was taken by Opportunity's front hazard avoidance camera on Jan. 5, 2016, during the 4,248th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Opportunity, NASA’s longest-running Mars rover, has finally been declared dead after it went dark eight months ago following a dust storm, the Associated Press reports.

The big picture: Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004 and was originally intended to operate for just 90 days. Over the course of its 15-year lifespan, in which it covered a record 28 miles, Opportunity found evidence that ancient Mars had water and was likely capable of sustaining life.