Scientists are going to use the Goldstone Complex in Far-off space communication in California to send new commands to the Opportunity rover in the hope of re-connecting with it
NASA has created a new and more powerful collection of teams to get back in touch with the lost and silent Opportunity rover. Engineers have not heard from him since June 10, 2018, shortly before the global dust storm began on Mars. The solar-powered rover has since ignored hundreds of calls from Earth. Team members fear that the mission is coming to an end.
Over the past 7 months, scientists have tried to contact Opportunity more than 600 times. Therefore, they are going to choose the best and most effective option to restore the contact. After silence, the team believed that the storm covered the solar panels with dust, depriving Opportunity of the necessary energy for work. It was hoped that the subsequent wind season would blow off the dust and the rover would return to its usual functionality. This prompted engineers to focus on the teams pushing the rover to send a return signal when turned on. New teams are designed to solve problems with malfunctions of the main or both X-band radio stations. That is, Opportunity will receive an order not only to give a sound signal, but also to completely switch the communication mode.
The announcement of a new action plan was made on January 25 (one day after the 15th anniversary of the landing of the apparatus on Mars in 2004). It is important to note that only 90 Martian days of work were expected from the rover, but it significantly exceeded the service life. It is necessary to take into account the fact that soon Opportunity will face the onslaught of the harsh Martian winter, which will damage the machine, deprived of the opportunity to warm up.
The agency says they will send new teams within a few weeks. If the rover continues to remain silent, then NASA will have to give up the hope of re-connecting.