NASA says it wants to save the Mars Opportunity rover, but some close to the mission doubt it

On Thursday, NASA announced a new plan for attempting to recover Opportunity, the Mars rover that has been unresponsive since it was caught in a major dust storm earlier this summer. But some people who work on Opportunity believe that NASA is instead preparing to give up on the longest operational Mars spacecraft because it might be too expensive to rescue.

The Opportunity rover landed on Mars in 2004 with just three months worth of planned work. Fourteen years later, the rover has traversed about 30 miles of Martian surface. Over that time it survived some scares, including a previous dust storm in 2007. But the storm it faced this summer was the most massive one Mars has seen in decades.

The storm has essentially put the rover in a…

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