The Martian storm gradually subsides. Will the rover be able to wake up?

The Martian storm gradually subsides. Will the rover be able to wake up?

The photograph from 2017, obtained by the Opportunity rover, shows a zone just above the Valley of perseverance, located on the edge of the Endeavor crater, 14 km wide. Opportunity from June 10, 2018 does not give signals due to raging storm

If the NASA Opportunity Mars Rover is still alive, then it should send signals soon. Solar energy has not entered the device since June 10, when a large-scale dust storm covered the location on the edge of the 14-kilometer Endeavor crater, namely the Valley of Perseverance.

The storm quickly spread and already on June 20 surrounded almost the entire planet. But at the end of July, the size reduction was noticeable. Opportunity team believes that in the near future it will be possible to return to the usual work. The sun is already breaking through the haze in the Valley of perseverance and will soon provide enough light for the rover to function.

Mission controllers tried to greet Opportunity three times in a week, picking up signals from NASA's large radio receivers DSN. The answer is expected at the moment when the level of opacity falls below 1.5. If the device does not respond within 45 days, then most likely there was some kind of breakdown due to the storm, which put it out of action. However, team members do not give up and are preparing to actively listen to the space in search of a response signal. Opportunity has been studying the Martian surface for more than 14 years. Together with the Spirit rover, they landed in January 2004. Both vehicles were planned for a 90-day mission focused on finding water activity on Mars. Both managed to find plenty of evidence of past water, but they did not stop. Spirit was last contacted by Earth in 2010, but Opportunity lasted until the recent storm.

The main threat is cold weather. Opportunity is not able to control the onboard heaters, so with low rates, some of the critical internal components risk breaking down.

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