When you think of The Little Engine That Could, do you ever try to attribute the morals behind the story to other things in life? Well, NASA does!
The Earth Orbiting 1 (EO-1) satellite was launched in 2000 with the life expectancy of about one year. On the other hand, it surprised everyone involved in the mission when it ended up lasting a solid 17 years.
The refrigerator-sized satellite has run out of fuel and was shut down at the end of March, but it won't be hurdling back into Earth's atmosphere for quite a while, as it isn't expected to do so until around 2056.
During its operating life, EO-1 provided experts with a solid chunk of research information. It has captured more than 180,000 stunning images of the Earth's surface and helped propel as many as 1,500 published scientific studies.
Not only did the satellite last 17 times longer than it was expected to, but it made legendary contributions to science on a seriously-limited budget.