The Martian Rover Opportunity remains silent

The Martian Rover Opportunity remains silent

In the 2017 photo, NASA's Opportunity rover shows an area just above the Persistence Valley, which lies on the edge of the 22-kilometer Endeavor crater. Opportunity does not respond to signals from June 10, 2018, when a dust storm plunged the device into darkness

The silence of the Martian rover Opportunity has reached 4 long months, starting on 10 June. At about the same time, a dust storm plunged its surroundings into darkness, preventing solar panels from receiving light from the star.

The Martian dust storm had time to grow on the entire planet in 10 days. But by the end of July, the activity subsided and over the next weeks the sky began to clear up. By September 11, the Valley of Perseverance close to Opportunity near the crater Endeavor was characterized by normal visibility. Therefore, earthly scientists have embarked on a 45-day active listening.

It has been 2/3 of the time, but the rover has not yet given any signals. If the campaign ends to no avail, then NASA will reassess recovery plans and efforts. However, engineers and technicians will continue to conduct passive listening until January. Unfortunately, the Martian rover could die because it was not able to start the onboard heaters. However, scientists still do not lose hope. Perhaps the blame was caused by a layer of dust that still remains on the surface of the rover and blocks sunlight for batteries. No one can say exactly how much dust has accumulated. It is important to note that a windy period is coming on Mars, capable of blowing off dust from the rover. It usually falls in November-January.

Opportunity landed on the Red Planet in January 2004, 3 weeks after the Spirit rover hit the surface on another part of Mars. Both devices revealed a lot of evidence that liquid water in the past flowed over the Martian surface. Rovers were designed for 3 months of work, but Spirit was declared dead only in 2011, and Opportunity was lost just now.

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