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For nearly 15 years, Mars was what you might call the land of Opportunity, as the little Mars rover punched way above its weight and managed to roam the red planet well, well beyond its expected lifespan.

“I stand here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude that the Opportunity mission is complete—and with it, the Mars Exploration Rover [MER] mission is complete,” NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in Wednesday’s press conference. “When this little rover landed, the objective was to have it go 1,100 yards and survive for 90 days on Mars,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Instead here we are 15 years later after 28 miles of travel, and today we get to celebrate the end of this mission.”

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Image courtesy NASA

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