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NASA may have heard from a quiet moment the Mars Opportunity Rover

A NASA illustration shows what opportunity would look like on Mars. NASA NASA's worldwide network of radio aerials can only…

A NASA illustration shows what opportunity would look like on Mars.


NASA’s worldwide network of radio aerials can only have retrieved signs of robot life.

A signal received by DSS-54 in Spain gives hope that the opportunity may wake up.

The Mars-robber dropped quietly on June 1

0th in the midst of a planet-enclosing dust storm which roasted Rover batteries in dust, preventing its solar panels from collecting extra juices. Since then, NASA has made many attempts to contact the robber, sometimes pinging the little robot daily to see if it should answer. It has not, but NASA has continued to hold out hope that the opportunity would call home.

A bot account @dns_status providing updates based on JPL’s Deep Space Network tweeted an update on Thursday

Not much information, but it seems that DSS-54 received data from Opportunity around 1 o’clock PST. The data was transmitted at a rate of 11 bytes per second.

It may be good news – or it can not be anything at all.

The tweet comes from Chris Gebhardt, editor of NASA Spaceflight, which suggests caution is recommended. There is a chance that the signal detected earlier Thursday is actually from a spacecraft in circulation around Mars that sends data from an earlier date.

DSS-54 is a satellite dish – a big radio telescope – part of the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex, located in Spain. It is part of NASA’s Deep Space Network, which has websites in Goldstone, USA and Canberra, Australia. These sites monitor NASA spacecraft and robot explorer over our solar system.

We contacted NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the Deep Space Network, for more information but had not received an answer at the time of writing.

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