Skies clearing over Mars Opportunity rover

So far however - nothing.

For their part, space fans have been tweeting up a storm in the hopes that Opportunity - or Oppy as it's affectionately known - will wake up soon.

Despite an incorrect media report, Summer is not fading at the Opportunity site in fact it hasn't even arrived yet!

NASA is the only space agency to have successfully landed a robotic vehicles on Mars. The planet was 36.9 million miles from Earth. A global dust storm has been raging on the planet for almost two months. "Now there is a hierarchy to each of those faults, and we will have to unwrap each one of them as we go".

Mission controllers are already looking out to hail Different thrice per week, beaming beep-eliciting commands via the broad radio dishes of NASA's Deep Recount Network (DSN) at some stage in times when the rover would possibly also be conscious. It was so bad that no surface markings could be identified.

But NASA this week warned it may never hear from Opportunity again.

While NASA is hopeful that the rover will attempt to call home, the team is also prepared for an extended period of silence.

Scientists have been tracking the progress of the storm and estimating tau levels using photographs captured by the NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its Mars Color Imager. It's quite possible that, by the time that happens, the 45-day window will have passed.

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"At that point our active phase of reaching out to Opportunity will be at an end". If this occurs Opportunity's grand voyage of exploration may have come to an end due to this dust storm which robbed us of essential solar power. "Nonetheless, in the now not actually chance that there could be a giant quantity of mud sitting on the solar arrays that's blocking the sun's vitality, we are going to have the flexibility to proceed passive listening efforts for several months". We'll see if it can add a planet-wide dust storm to the list. One of the things that set the 2018 dust storm event is that it parked itself right over the Martian equatorial latitudes, which means that it was essentially sitting right on top of where Opportunity is now stationed.

In terms of some good news NASA HQ has granted us a one year mission extension because our current funding was due to expire on September 30, 2018.

Let's hope we speak soon, Opportunity.

However, "there is reason to be optimistic, " says NASA, as the storm appears to be weakening, meaning that sunlight may have time to peak through the dust and give the rover a much-needed boost.

On May 30, NASA first detected the swirling dust storm that would soon enshroud all of Mars.

That gives Opportunity a chance to begin absorbing sunlight from its spot in Mars' Perseverance Valley.

"Assuming that we hear back from Opportunity, we will begin the process of discerning its status and bringing it back online", John Callas, Opportunity project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement.

To prepare, the Opportunity mission team has developed a two-step plan to provide the highest probability of successfully communicating with the rover and bringing it back online, the United States space agency said in a statement. If the team doesn't hear back from Opportunity during that period of time, the space agency will assume that something has impacted the rover in a way that prevents its recovery.


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