NASA Tries to Contact Mars Opportunity Rover for the Last Time

NASA Tries to Contact Mars Opportunity Rover for the Last Time

Science

NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover helped the Space Agency to explore the red planet and know everything about the same. But, from the last eight months, the rover was not responding to the commands sent by the ground control station. After several attempts of establishing the downlink with the rover, NASA has stopped their tries and will son declare the Mars Opportunity Rover as Dead. NASA sent several recovery commands to the rover, but it did not connect to the ground station.

As declared, NASA sent nearly 1,000 commands to the Mars Opportunity Rover before pulling the plugs from this mission. NASA said that they’d sent the last recovery command to connect to the rover today. If the rover does not respond by tomorrow, the NASA team will officially call it dead. Metaphorically, the Rover is hanging between Life and Death. It’s been 15 years the Opportunity rover is roaming and performing tasks for the scientists at NASA. The original lifespan was much lower, but it extended the expected life span and lived for 15 years. It was an Epic dust storm on the Red Planet that disconnected the rover from ground control stations at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.

The dust storm prevented the rover to collect the sunlight and create electricity using the solar panels installed on the rover. As the storm passed, the built-up dust on the panels discharged the $400-million rover on June 10, 2018. From that date, NASA scientists are trying to establish a downlink with the rover but failed every time. The first image after disconnection from the ground station of the Opportunity rover was in the Mars perseverance Valley. The picture was taken by HiRISE – the high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently in orbit collecting the data. It’d be a miracle if the rover responds back to the ground stations before scientists declaring it dead.

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