NASA is trying to breathe life into its 15-year-old opportunity rover, which has not responded since June. NASA will send new orders in the next few weeks until the strict Marswinter begins and destroys all hopes.
The Opportunity Rover, the longest living red planet robot, has not heard of humans since June 10, 2018, when its latest release was received by the US Space Agency. The rover's problems, which had survived his initial three-month mission for a long time, are probably due to a huge sandstorm that struck the planet for nearly two months during the summer.
Although the Mars rover was caught up in dust storms before and fortunately, this particular storm survived by NASA as as "one of the most intense" and apparently most strenuous on the robot of a golf cart.
In a statement released Friday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said its engineers are transmitting a new set of signals that should wake up the sleeping vehicle. The new commands handle "low-probability events" that may have prevented the rover from sending signals home.
One possibility is that its primary X-band radio is malfunctioning. Another reason is that both the primary and secondary X-band transceivers have failed. A third is that the internal clock is off.
"Among the potential remedies that will be taken to address these unlikely events include a command for the rover to switch to its X-band backup radio, and commands to reset the clock and respond via UHF [ultra high frequency]"the laboratory said in 19459005, but it was pointed out that " a series of unlikely events " must have occurred for this to be the case.
The new approach to reviving the rover is additionally testing ongoing efforts " Sweep and Beep " – Commands transmitted to the Rover in the hope that it will respond with a " beep ". Previously, the scientists had only heard the Rover.
"We have and will use the ultimate techniques in our attempts to contact the rover," said John Callas, Opportunity Project Manager in the lab, as quoted in the statement.
Despite all his efforts, he hopes the Rover will be returned. Life is bleak and fading every day until the brutal Mars Winter begins.
At first, it was hoped that the rover will charge its batteries during a "Dust Clean Season" which started the storm after launch and is now over. The next winter will be long – twice as long as its earthy counterpart – and pretty hard. The landing site for the Opportunity mission is located in the southern hemisphere of Mars, and during the Southern winter, Mars is also farther from the Sun, which means that the season is colder than in the North.
READ MORE: Lost Opportunity ?: NASA Rover Threatened by Dangerous Mars Storm
The harsh conditions "can irreparably damage the batteries, internal wiring and / or computer systems of a rover" according to the laboratory. If the last attempt to contact the rover declines, it essentially means that all possibilities to revive the robot are exhausted. The lab said it would re-discuss the mission with the Mars Program Mission and NASA Headquarters to determine what to do next.
As early as September, NASA had set a deadline of 45 days before they would give up the robot, apparently, was expanded. At that time, NASA said that it would stop the active attempts to reach the rover and only listen to it.
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