Mars Opportunity rover has 45 days to contact home: NASA

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NASA is planning to begin its effort to restart communication with the Opportunity Rover on Mars. In a recent statement, NASA said it would begin a 45-day campaign of active efforts to restore communications with Opportunity once skies above the rover cleared to a sufficient level according to reports. ALSO READ | Moon mission now won’t require big budgets: NASA Chief 

The storm was first detected on May 30, and the US space agency’s 15-year-old rover was last heard from on June 10, when it went into sleep mode as dust blocked out the Sun and darkness enveloped the Red Planet. "The dust haze produced by the Martian global dust storm of 2018 is one of the most extensive on record, but all indications are it is finally coming to a close," said Rich Zurek, project scientist for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Mr Zurek said in the statement that there had been no signs of dust storms within 3,000 km of Opportunity "for some time."

"Assuming that we hear back from Opportunity, we will begin the process of discerning its status and bringing it back online" said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  "We will keep trying to get our Martian friend back online. We will not give up on #Oppy even after the 45 days of plan we have put in place!" tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science. ALSO READ | Cancer tracking AI can predict how tumours evolve   What is Opportunity Rover  Opportunity Rover, also known as Mars Exploration Rover, is NASA’s robotic rover active on Mars since 2004. It was launched on July 7, 2003 as a part of the NASA’S Mars Exploration Rover program, it landed at Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004. 

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