Opportunity Rover still unreachable as Mars dust storm continues, says NASA

16 August 2018, 02:56 PM
Opportunity Rover still unreachable as Mars dust storm continues, says NASA (Image: Twitter)
Opportunity Rover still unreachable as Mars dust storm continues, says NASA (Image: Twitter)

NASA's Opportunity Rover remains missing and unreachable on Thursday, said NASA scientists. The contact with the robotic rover - Opportunity Rover - has been lost for almost two months now after a massive dust storm hit the Red Planet. Opportunity Rover has been roaming Mars for nearly 15 years now. According to media reports the robotic rover suffered an emergency shutdown after the Martian storm prevented its solar panels from powering it. The storm deposited dust onto the solar panels of the rover which prevented its battery from recharging and contact mission control back on Earth.

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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. 

“Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been listening for the rover every day since its forced shutdown and attempting to send Opportunity a message command three times a week. So far, it has not sent a beep back, the Inverse reported on Tuesday. Last NASA heard from Opportunity was on June 10 and since then there’s no real update,” said Andrew Good from NASA’s Mars and Mars technology media relations specialist. 

NASA in a statement said, “Moreover, the science team does not expect to hear anything from Opportunity until there has been a significant reduction in the atmospheric opacity over the rover site”.

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“Since the last contact with the rover on June 10, Opportunity has likely experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission-clock fault. Additionally, the up-loss timer has also since expired, resulting in another fault condition,” the statement read. 

First Published: Thursday, August 16, 2018 02:25 PM
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