Space

NASA Tries One Last Time To Contact Mars Rover

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Engineers at NASA early Wednesday morning sent their final commands to the Mars rover Spirit. The electronic exploring device covered nearly five miles of the Red Planet over five years.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

It was more than seven years ago when NASA put two roving spacecraft on Mars. One was called Spirit, and it was expected to last only 90 days. But it far exceeded those expectations, as it sent back a stream of photos and other information. Among its discoveries, Spirit found that Mars had, at one time, been warm and wet enough to sustain life.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

But Spirit's radio fell silent a year ago. NASA engineers sent another command yesterday, and after again failing to receive a response, decided to stop trying. The project director called Spirit a wildly successful mission. And the other Mars rover, Opportunity, is still in operation on the opposite side of the planet.

(Soundbite of music)

KELLY: It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News.

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