A tribute to America´s real life WALL-E


(photo courtesy of NASA)

Helena Savage

By Helena Savage


“My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”


Opportunity Rover (Oppy) sent her last message to Earth in June of 2018 just before a massive dust storm ended her communications with NASA. Oppy sent back photographs of the darkening Mars around her, as her batteries slowly began to die. It was the end of Oppy and her mission and no method of revival could bring her back to life from NASA scientists back on Earth. According to Michigan live, “NASA said it attempted to re-establish communication with Opportunity more than 1,000 times.”

After landing on Mars on Jan. 24, 2004, Oppy was expected to only live for 90 days. It landed on Mars in 2004, with another rover named Spirit who still currently roams the Martian surface. However, Oppy outlived this 90-day life expectancy, in fact, exceeding this by 15 years, discovering much of the barren terrain and hidden mysteries of Mars.

In 2011, “Oppy found slivers of a bright material that looks very much like it is gypsum (calcium sulfate) – which at the time was the most powerful piece of evidence for liquid water on Mars” (bbc). Then in 2015, Oppy discovered “blueberries” which contain a high amount of hematite within them and are a deep shade of blue (bbc). Oppy uncovered the main supporting evidence for water on Mars, which leads scientists to further question the possibility of past extraterrestrial life.

As Oppy is truly a real-life WALL-E, NASA had a difficult time parting with the rover that changed the world of science as we know it. Although it is only a robot, Oppy communicated with NASA for years, sending photographs and messages. Today, we thank Oppy for its forever- beloved Martian mission. You will certainly be missed by the world who fell in love with WALL-E’s counterpart, Oppy.

According to the Independent, scientists sent their last message to it this past month, Billie Holiday’s song “I’ll be seeing you” to wish Oppy a farewell. The song ends with these tear-jerking lyrics:

      I’ll find you in the morning sun

     And when the night is new

     I’ll be looking at the moon

     But I’ll be seeing you