NASA’s Opportunity Rover Can’t be Contacted from the Earth

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When you are trying to contact a rover, and it is asking for five more minutes of sleep, you are losing time on the way. NASA has lastly heard from the Opportunity rover three full months ago as it fell into hibernation due to Mars’ massive dust storm which covered its solar panels in the sand. Even though the level of dust in the atmosphere settled down and the Sun is now shinning upon Mars, the rover still did not charge.

More about the Opportunity rover

The little robot is 15 years old, and it was not supposed to last more than a few months on the Martian surface. As it was up for the additional work, its mission timeline was extended multiple times, but at the moment it appears to be the end of its journey.

NASA’s engineers experience high levels of stress as the rover does not wake up. Their hopes are starting to get low, and they do not believe that the rover will spring to life out of nowhere.

The rover does not keep up with the scientists

The rover got sent an occasional short message as for the scientists to get something from it, but it is neither attempting to communicate nor to stay awake. According to the team “The project is also sending a command three times a week to elicit a beep if the rover happens to be awake.”

Rover’s batteries are the runner-up on the scientists’ list of fears as they are not used to sitting depleted and cold for this long span. The batteries might have been damaged or destroyed during the hibernation period. The death clock of the Opportunity rover is ticking faster and faster, and the team might need to declare it dead for an additional short period of trying to contact it.


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