Technology: NASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover - - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyNASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover

11:41  30 october  2018
11:41  30 october  2018 Source:   cnet.com

Hope dwindles as NASA’s Opportunity rover refuses to contact Earth

  Hope dwindles as NASA’s Opportunity rover refuses to contact Earth Time flies when you're trying to message a rover that just won't wake up. The rover, which is over a decade and a half old at this point, was only supposed to last a few months on the Martian surface. It’s since spent over 14 years on the Martian surface, and the original mission timeline has been extended again and again as the rover proved it was up for additional work, but now it’s looking more and more like it might be the end of the road.

NASA 's Mars Opportunity rover has had a rough year. A sustained dust storm on Mars caused the rover to lose contact with NASA and things have been Launched on July 7, 2003 as part of NASA 's Mars Exploration Rover program. NASA scientists are still holding out hope they will hear from the.

NASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover . NASA ’ s beloved Mars rover Opportunity has been silent for months after getting swept up in an enormous dust storm on the Red Planet last summer, and NASA engineers have been pinging the rover to answer to no avail.

NASA is still holding out hope for the Mars Opportunity rover© NASA A NASA illustration shows what Opportunity would look like on Mars.

NASA's Mars Opportunity rover has had a rough year. A sustained dust storm on Mars caused the rover to lose contact with NASA and things have been on struggle street ever since.

In August NASA gave Opportunity, the little Mars rover that could, 45 days to get back in contact. That time frame has come and gone, but NASA has once again made the call to not abandon hope.

In mid-October, NASA said it was hopeful strengthening winds would blow up the dust it thinks is interfering with Opportunity's ability to get back in contact.

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity snaps dusty selfie

  NASA's Mars rover Curiosity snaps dusty selfie NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped a dusty but cool selfie. NASA released the panorama this week. A thin layer of dust is visible on Curiosity, the result of a storm that enveloped Mars this summer. Curiosity is nuclear-powered and so unaffected by a lack of sunlight. NASA's older rover Opportunity, though, relies on solar power and has been silent since June. Flight controllers hope as the Martian sky continues to clear, Opportunity will get back in contact. But after almost 15 years exploring the red planet, Opportunity may not have the strength or ability for a comeback.

"Getting that last little bit of dust out of the air takes a good amount of time," Mike Seibert, a former flight director for the Mars Exploration Rover Other Opportunity team members may not be there yet, still focused on hoping for the best for the robot they've tended to for more than a decade.

NASA ’s Opportunity rover began its 15th year on Mars this week, although the intrepid robotic explorer may already be dead. NASA is still trying to contact Opportunity , as it has since the dust storm ended last summer. The hope was that once the skies cleared, Opportunity ’s batteries would

"A windy period on Mars -- known to Opportunity's team as 'dust-clearing season' -- occurs in the November-to-January time frame and has helped clean the rover's panels in the past," explained NASA. "The team remains hopeful that some dust clearing may result in hearing from the rover in this period."

In the two weeks since then NASA has reviewed the strategy, it's decided it's not giving up on the Rover until January 2019 at least.

"After a review of the progress of the listening campaign, NASA will continue its current strategy for attempting to make contact with the Opportunity rover for the foreseeable future," explained NASA in a new update. Winds could increase in the next few months at Opportunity's location on Mars, resulting in dust being blown off the rover's solar panels. The agency will reassess the situation in the January 2019 time frame.

NASA plans to send a fresh rover to Mars in 2020, but it hopes to keep its current rovers operational in the meantime.

NASA set to broadcast its first Mars landing in six years.

It's been a while since we've sat down in front of the TV to watch a good ol' Mars landing.

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