NASA's Opportunity Rover remains unreachable due to Mars dust storm

NASA Mars rover Spotify playlist

Will the dust ever come off of "Opportunity" on its own?

Mars Opportunity Rover has been silent since June 10 when the massive Martian dust storm cut off the rover from solar power. Recently, he found a unusual object, which attracted the attention of NASA scientists and ufologists, immediately decided that it could be part of the alien ship. The dust storm could have a negative impact on the rover's batteries, which could put a crimp in its ability to heat itself during the frigid Mars winter.

NASA has built something of a soundtrack for Opportunity, as Space.com first reported and it's hoping that the songs will somehow snap the rover out of its funk even if it can't actually hear them. Because the batteries were in relatively good health before the storm, there's not likely to be too much degradation. Another important factor is that the place where Opportunity is now parked is going through its summer, so scientists have estimated that the rover might not have indeed suffered a cold death and stayed warm enough to survive the lack of sunlight. "We send what we call a "beep" pretty much everyday and wait and see if the rover sends a "beep" back".

Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been attempting to send Opportunity a message command three times a week since then. To measure tau from the space, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will be looking for surface geographic features on the red planet to start measuring tau, notes the report.

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Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet, courtesy of the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) wide-angle camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). DSN antennas are used to ping the rover at preset "wake-up" times.

Every day, JPL also records radio signals coming from Mars rover Opportunity's region, covering its daylight hours, looking for Opportunity's "voice".

In a statement released on Thursday, NASA says it is optimistic about Opportunity's recovery prospects. "It's like a patient coming out of a coma", NASA says.

Opportunity's science team is keeping the world informed through a series of mission status updates.

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