NASA Abandons Hope for Mars Rover Opportunity
Mike Sanders / 12 months ago
NASA Abandons Hope for Opportunity Rover
Last year a pretty significant storm hit Mars and one of the casualties with the Opportunity Rover. While Curiousity managed to escape unscathed, contact was lost with Opportunity. The exact cause was unclear, it was, however, speculated that the storm may have caused the solar panels to get coated in dust/dirt. This would, as you might expect, stop the Rover from being able to obtain power.
Hopes of a Windy Day
As of January 22nd, over 600 recovery commands were sent to the Rover trying to reactivate it. NASA has even tried a different line of code in hope of sparking a little life from it, when last reported, however, the Rover only had 22 watts of power remaining and, if the panels are indeed covered in dirt, then it is effectively gone.
Waiting For The Formal Announcement
While NASA has essentially given up hope, they are going to leave it for just a little longer. It would, after all, just require enough dirt being knocked off the panels to kick it back into life. Most people, however, are expecting the space agency to make the formal announcement of its demise. Probably within the next few weeks.
A NASA staff member has aptly said: “You can always look back and say, ‘This is a rover that way outlived her expectations and accomplished a lot.’ But that doesn’t make the grief go away.” – That kinda sums it up for me!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!