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Condolences pour in mourning the loss of NASA’s Mars rover

Emily Balser
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FILE - This illustration made available by NASA shows the rover Opportunity on the surface of Mars. The exploratory vehicle landed on Jan. 24, 2004, and logged more than 28 miles before falling silent during a global dust storm in June 2018. There was so much dust in the Martian atmosphere that sunlight could not reach Opportunity’s solar panels for power generation.

A robot tugged at our emotions with just eight little words.

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

The poignant words were the last sent to Earth by NASA’s Opportunity, the Mars rover that spent the past 15 years exploring the planet before it stopped communicating about eight months ago. It was officially pronounced dead on Wednesday.

Condolences pouring out on social media for the robot seemed more appropriate for losing a close loved one with many who seemed genuinely upset by the news.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter @emilybalser.