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The Opportunity rover might be in danger

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  • #21

    Sad to hear, but Opportunity went far beyond its expected mission time. Extending ninety days into fifteen years is a heck of an achievement, especially in an environment as harsh as the martian surface.

    I believe that, in the future, they might send another rover that happens to be in the area to have a look-see, but that's a discussion for another time.
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    • #22

      Originally posted by Daryn View Post
      I guess that's one way to look at it. Though I doubt NASA even kno we existed. Whatever happened to the rover, future missions will probably have to discover. Thanks for sharing Rus, I was just thinking about it and wondering what had happened.
      Well what I was trying to get at was that the Opportunity rover possibly dying felt like a stroke of cosmic coincidence as the news came around the time the forum's end was announced.
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      • #23

        Originally posted by Rusakov View Post
        Well what I was trying to get at was that the Opportunity rover possibly dying felt like a stroke of cosmic coincidence as the news came around the time the forum's end was announced.
        Oh, I know. Now though, the site isn't going away. Wouldn't it be awesome if we heard from Opportunity again soon? Now, that would be something!
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        • #24

          Hey, at least Opportunity's mission lasted more than all my relationships... combined. Sniff.

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          • #25

            Mars Opportunity rover will have 45 days to phone home

            As a planet-wide dust storm enveloped Mars, many were concerned about the fate of the Opportunity rover. After all, Opportunity is dependent on solar panels; the opacity of the dust storm meant that she wasn't getting enough light to stay powered. The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory last heard from Opportunity on June 10th. Now, the storm is lifting, and once its opacity reaches a tau level of 1.5, the little rover will have 45 days to respond to the team's signals. Otherwise, NASA will stop actively listening for the rover.

            The tau measures the amount of dust and particulate in the Martian atmosphere. The team hopes that, once the skies have cleared enough and the rover has recharged its batteries, Opportunity will be able to hear and respond to the signals that Earth is sending its way. If 45 days have passed without a response, the team will cease its active efforts to recover the rover. "If we do not hear back after 45 days, the team will be forced to conclude that the Sun-blocking dust and the Martian cold have conspired to cause some type of fault from which the rover will more than likely not recover," said John Callas, Opportunity's project manager, in a statement.

            That doesn't mean NASA will have fully given up on Opportunity, though. After all, the rover was originally tasked with a 90-day mission and is still working almost 15 years later. The team will continue "passive listening efforts" -- presumably stop sending the rover active signals through the Deep Space Network, but monitor in case Opportunity reaches out first -- for an additional several months.


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