Will Opportunity wake up NASA has a 45-day plan

Will Opportunity wake up? NASA has a 45-day plan

It has been almost three months since the Opportunity rover on Mars sent its last message to Earth. The storm that immobilized the machine is already weakening and NASA engineers hope to get Opportunity up and running.

In mid-June, NASA reported that the Opportunity rover was at the center of a huge dust storm on the Red Planet. Teamoł in charge of the rover lost contact with it, and researchers feared the machine might never wake up again. These concerns persist, but the increasing brightness over the rover’s location gives hope that the solar-powered Opportunity will acquire enough energy to resume work.

Dust storm raging on Mars has been ongoing since late May. This is the largest observed storm on the Red Planet since 2007. It has spread across the entire planet. The storm limited sunlight reaching the surface of Mars, preventing the rover from recharging its batteries. The nearly 15-year-old Opportunity rover went into sleep mode due to lack of energy, and in this state it remains to this day. Only the mission clock is running, ktory regularly wakes up the machine to check power levels. Teamoł of NASA is concerned that the rover may not turn on again.

The last signal from Opportunity was received on June 10. As conditions on Mars improve, NASA plans to wkrotce start the rover’s wake-up procedure. The plan is to use Deep Space Network antennas to listen for signalsoIn from the spacecraft and send messages to it. If the rover does not respond for 45 days, NASA engineers intend to switch to listening only now.

NASA engineers hope that the rover’s solar panels will clean up and the machine will be able to resume work. However, if this does not happen, they intend to listen for a signaloin from it by January 2019. Then autumn will begin on the Red Planet, and that means stronger winds, ktore can remove dust from the rover’s solar panels.

– The sun breaks through the dust over Perseverance Valley, and the wkrotce there will be enough sunlight for Opportunity mohead to recharge the batteries – said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. – If not contacted for 45 days, the teamoł will be forced to conclude that sun-blocking dust and Martian frost have conspired to cause some kind of malfunction, with which theothe rover will most likely not wake up again – added.

Opportunity mohead could be awakened by a signal from NASA, but it would have to have enough energy. It can also wake up without help from Earth, but if stronger winds have not cleared the dust from the panels, it could spell the end of it. The condition of the rover is unknown. The storm could have caused a number of other problemsow technical, in addition to battery problems.

However, the teamoł from NASA remain moderately optimistic. After all, this is Opportunity – rover, whichory was designed for a 90-day sojourn on the Red Planet, and is now nearly 15 years old. He had already defensively emerged from the roThe journal is also concerned with the effects of severe weather failures and breakdowns.

The Opportunity rover, actually the Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B), was launched in July 2003. It landed on the Red Planet on January 25 year poThen. Since then, MER-B has been sending invaluable information about Mars – Its geological and chemical past. Opportnity has already exceeded its planned mission time by more than 50 times.

Opportunity has seen a lot during its more than 14-year stay on Mars, and this is not its first dust storm. In 2007, after a major dust storm, the rover went silent for four days. But then the teamoł controlling the mission had authority over the rover. Silence was a choice, prob by conservation of energy. The rover’s current situation is different.

Headohe major threat to the rover in its current situation is the freezing of the. Such was the fate of the Spirit rover – Opportunity’s twin design. MER-A, as Spirit was actually called, survived on Mars until May 2011, when the last proba contact from NASA. After that, the agency declared the Spirit rover mission complete. The rover likely got buried in Martian sand and was unable to move again to catch enough sunlight to recharge its batteries.