NASA reported that it was decided to continue attempts to connect with the Opportunity rover, which has been silent for several months, until January 2019. The announcement of this appeared on the official website of the management.
On June 1, an enormous territory of Mars was swept over by an unprecedented force dust storm, and the American apparatus Opportunity fell under the element. Due to the opacity of the atmosphere of the planet, the rover did not receive the heavy share of solar radiation required to maintain batteries. The specialists had no choice but to collapse all the planned scientific works for a time, putting the device into power saving mode.
On June 10, the agency recorded that Opportunity does not respond to the signals sent to it. There was hope to deal with this problem quickly, but this option was not passed. For nearly five months, NASA experts have been trying to “revitalize” a multi-billion dollar mission, and they were almost ready to give up, but some successes in recent times, albeit minimal ones, have forced us to continue working.
“Seeing some success in the campaign to restore communication with the Opportunity, NASA will continue to move in this direction and further. In the place where the rover is now, the wind will soon increase, which will contribute to the purification of the dust from its solar panels. In January 2019, the Department will make an assessment of this situation, ”the publication says.
In late September, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a multifunctional automatic interplanetary station designed to study the fourth planet of the solar system, received a fresh photograph of Opportunity, located 267 kilometers from the Martian surface. After analyzing the frame, experts noted: the rover looks quite bright, and this is a sign that there is no thick dust layer on the solar panels.
Opportunity into space was launched on July 7, 2003, and on January 25, 2004, it was already on the surface of the Red Planet. Over the 14 and a half years of operation, the NASA apparatus extracted and delivered to Earth a large amount of invaluable information, including a lot of clear photographs, due to which the scientific world was able to look at Mars with completely different eyes.