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NASA Declares Mars Rover Dead After 8 Months Of Silence

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- After trying one last time make contact, NASA Wednesday declared its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity dead after a 15-year mission.

The rover has been silent for eight months, victim of an intense dust storm. Thick dust darkened the sky last summer and, for months, blocked sunlight from the spacecraft's solar panels.

NASA said Wednesday it issued a final series of recovery commands and there was no response. The rover is the longest-lasting lander on the red planet.

Team members were looking back at Opportunity's achievements, including confirmation that water once flowed on Mars. Besides endurance, the six-wheeled rover set a roaming record of 28 miles (45 kilometers.)

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