On Wednesday, Feb. 13, NASA officially declared the end of Opportunity's mission on Mars. The news comes eight months after the 15-year-old rover stopped communicating with the space agency.
A Tribute To The Wrong Rover
As NASA said goodbye to the persistent rover that outlasted its original 90-day mission, the world also mourned. In honor of Opportunity, one man even got a tattoo of the rover on his right shoulder.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, only a few days after the announcement of the completion of Opportunity's mission on Mars, Charles Finch, a Twitter user, posted a photo of the tattoo.
"My battery is low and it's getting dark," reads the phrase below the image of the rover.
It would have been a nice tribute for a rover that touched the heart of the world, if only it featured the right rover.
That was fast! pic.twitter.com/wZ1Bpf8VBh — Charles Finch (@CharlesFinch) February 16, 2019
Twitter users were quick to point out that the rover in the tattoo is not Opportunity, but Curiosity, which landed on the surface of Mars in 2012 and is still going strong six years later. The lack of solar panels of the rover is a dead giveaway that it was not "Oppy," as the rover was affectionately nicknamed. That's because, unlike its predecessors, Curiosity does not rely on sunlight to run.
Finch later clarified that the tattoo is not his. He did not name the unfortunate soul who paid tribute to Curiosity way before the rover would have stopped functioning.
A Little Less Emotional Last Words
Moreover, the rover's viral last message before it went silent in June is not accurate either. The phrase, which came from science journalist Jacob Margolis, not NASA as many assumed, was taken out of context.
The last message they received was basically, "My battery is low and it's getting dark." They hoped that the windy season would clear dust off the solar panels (if that was the problem). Since then they've been pinging her again and again, every way they knew... 3/ — Jacob Margolis (@JacobMargolis) February 12, 2019