Lessons from the Mars Opportunity rover that are out of this world

A rover on Mars.
NASA/Courtesy

Last week, the Opportunity rover was declared dead. This little, solar-powered robot had trucked along the surface of Mars for almost 15 years, even though its mission’s duration was only supposed to be about 90 days. So, in honor of Opportunity, here are some lessons we can take from its life and apply it to our own.

Don’t let other people set your limits

The rover only needed to last 90 martian days. But, that didn’t hold it back. The Opportunity rover showed us that we can surpass the expectations of others. Other people don’t set your limits — only you can. Even if a class is considered hard, it doesn’t mean you can rule out getting an A in it. Believe that you can go beyond others’ expectations because that’s exactly what Opportunity did.

Have a team to back you up

All the science that the Opportunity rover accomplished wouldn’t have been possible without a team of scientists on Earth giving it directions. This, however, doesn’t make any of its accomplishments any less impressive. Much like with a rover, having a good team around us is ideal. Being in the presence of friends can help you accomplish great things — stuff you wouldn’t be able to do on your own.

People do notice and care about you

All of the love for the Opportunity rover seemed to have come out of nowhere. Who knew so many people cared about a terrestrial robot on another planet? Just think about all the people who might care about you without you realizing it. If life ever gets you down, remember that people care about you and are willing to help you out. 

Seize your Opportunity

At some point in your life, you’ll get further than you expected to. Don’t take it as an excuse to rest on your laurels. We’ve learned so much more about Mars because Opportunity wasn’t shut down after 90 days. Seize the chance to go even further. Who knows what you might accomplish?

Opportunity ended its mission in a place called Perseverance Valley. It traveled more than 28 miles of rough terrain and further showed that Mars once had water on its surface. It has gone beyond everyone’s expectations. So, why not take it as an example and try to go beyond what anyone thought possible.

Contact Zachariah Nash at [email protected].