The Tragic Passing Of The Mars’ Rover Opportunity

The Passing Of The Mars Rover Opportunity Is Certainly Sad, But It Leaves Behind A Powerful Legacy

My battery is low and it's getting dark.

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On February 13th, NASA announced the end of the Mars Rover Opportunity, citing a potential for dust layering its solar panels, which prevented it from refueling after a 2018 dust storm on the Red Planet, as the cause of its demise. The golf-cart-sized robot landed on Mars in 2004 with a life-expectancy minimum of 90 days. The Opportunity's time on Mars amassed a stunning 14 years of travel encompassing approximately 28 miles, enabled by Martian winds that helped to clean off its solar panels. It captured over 217,000 images and helped to confirm the now-accepted scientific truth that the barren planet was once an aquatic sanctuary, shot through with rivers and sloshing with seas and oceans.

On the evening of February 12th, the Opportunity sent out a final transmission that was translated to "My battery is low and it's getting dark." Despite the presence of another Mars Rover (Curiosity) on the same planet, the sheer distance separating the two robots — approximately 5,200 miles — would make it near impossible for the Rover to reach Opportunity in a timely fashion. In order to navigate the unforgiving Martian terrain, these Rovers require constant guidance from Earth.

With such a long delay between message transmission and subsequent reception, even a trek of several feet can take days. In addition, the Curiosity robot is not a repair bot, and as such lacks the necessary tools that would be needed in order to repurpose its onboard instruments in order to clean off the dust from Opportunity's solar panels. Adding to the bleak prognosis, the timing of the shutdown is unfortunate with the current arrival of the Martian winter, which could compound the damage already done to Opportunity since it's no longer able to keep itself warm.

While the Opportunity's passing is certainly a sad outcome of time, it leaves behind a transformational legacy in the manner with which NASA conducts searches for signs of extraterrestrial life on other planets. One of these advancements includes a Mars 2020 mission featuring a new Rover modeled off of the Curiosity's structure, as well as a much-anticipated helicopter. The mission will land at Jezero Crater on February 18th, 2021, to look for traces of ancient life on Mars.

In addition, Europe has a newly-dubbed Mars Rover currently in development named Rosalind Franklin which is scheduled to launch in the same time window as the NASA Mars 2020 mission. That Rover is expected to search for traces of life within the top six and a half feet of the Martian surface. So while the Opportunity may be gone, its work will be remembered and utilized to build upon a new generation of robots to continue the search for extraterrestrial life.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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The 12 Hardest Things To Learn As You Enter Adulthood

Learning as you go is what adulthood is all about.

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After graduating, there were a lot of things I had to figure out on my own because I wasn't fully taught in high school. Learning these things build character. The struggles to find your way in life can create the great person you know you can be. We can learn great things as we develop throughout the journey of adulthood.

Here are 12 of the hardest things to learn as you enter adulthood.

1. All of the options you have after graduation

It's hard to be aware of every opportunity you could potentially have. Trade school? Four-year college? Community college? Military? Workforce? It's all out there for us to decide. We have to figure out what's best for our lives. (Sometimes you don't figure this out right away which is very normal.)

2. How to file taxes

Even the word "taxes" seems a little too "adult-like" to me.

3. How to be smart about your money

Whether this be learning to take out loans, budgeting, making smart financial decisions; there is a lot of room for error if you don't learn early on in adulthood.

4. How to be appealing to a future employer

This means learning to write a professional resume/cover letter and being able to rock an interview,

5. How to participate in politics

It's the American duty to be properly educated on politics and exercising those rights by registering to vote.

6. The basics in having a car 

We should all be informed on the basic upkeep of your vehicle; such as getting regular oil changes

7. Learning about consent

This is something high school sex ed doesn't cover but definitely should.

8. How to properly cope with your emotions

Taking care of yourself is an important role in properly dealing with emotional stress.

9. Making eco-friendly choices to help the environment

Our generation needs to focus on making better choices for our Earth before there's nothing left to save.

10. How to eat healthy 

Despite busy schedules and pesky cravings, learning to eat better is a sign you're growing up. You suddenly understand why your mom always said "no" to McDonald's because there is food at home.

11. How to time manage

Juggling work, schooling, social life, fitness, family-time, etc. forces you to learn to make time for all of the things in your life.

12. How to gain confidence in yourself

When you reach a certain age you stop caring about what others think/say. You gain the confidence in your life choices and rock 'em. You unapologetically live your life the way you want to.

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