Unfortunately, a global dust storm earlier this year may have sealed Opportunity Rover fate. The space agency has tried to…
Unfortunately, a global dust storm earlier this year may have sealed Opportunity Rover fate. The space agency has tried to restore communication with Mars Rover for weeks, but so far the machine has not responded. The possibility went into a sleep-like state this summer after being able to charge the batteries. Everything has been quiet since, but NASA hopes a windy season will change it.
At the end of August, NASA reported that Mars’s global dust storms fell and that Opportunity would soon have enough sunlight to charge its batteries. It would, if it were, raise the rover back and start a process that included resumption of communication with the earth and finally with the rover’s various missions.
Unfortunately, NASA said on September 1
1 that it’s still not heard from Opportunity despite measurements showing sufficient sunlight levels. Rover’s team increased the frequency of commands sent to the rover while NASA explained that a number of things could have happened. Even if the opportunity was woken, the space agency explained, it’s possible that there has been a permanent reduction in its battery capacity that will reduce its service life.
In mid-October, NASA said that a whole month of increased command rate had not resulted in a response from Opportunity. The agency called on the public that dust can be blame – if a thick layer of dust covers the solar panels, the rover will not be able to load.
Fortunately, Mars will enter a windy period called “vacuum season”, and hopefully it will blow the solar panels clean … if that’s really the question.
NASA had said earlier this month that it had no deadline for Opportunity Rover efforts, but that it would know its action plan before the end of the month. Today, that day, with NASA, it will reconsider the opportunity raises the situation in January 2019. This will give Marswindows enough time to clear dust from the rover, hopefully restore it to life.