Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
California has begun submitting new orders to the opportunity rover
in an attempt to force 15-year-old Martian
Explorer to contact Earth. The new commands to be transferred
Rovers in the coming weeks, address low-probability events that could
occurred on board Opportunity, so that it can not be transferred.
Rover's last communication with Earth was received on June 10, 2018 as planetary dust
covered the position of the solar-powered rover on Mars.
"We have and will use several
Techniques in our attempts to contact the rover, "said John Callas
Project Manager for Opportunity at JPL. "These are new command strategies
In addition to the "sweep and beep" commands we have to transfer up
the rover since september. "With sweep and beep instead of just waiting for it
On occasion, the project sends commands to the rover to respond with a response
New transfer strategies are expected to continue for several weeks. They appeal
Three possible scenarios: the rover's primary X-band radio ̵
used to communicate with the earth – failed; that both his primary as well
secondary X-band radios have failed; or that the rover's internal clock, the
provides a time frame for his computer brain, is offset. ON
A series of unlikely events would have occurred for one of these events
Errors occur. The
Possible remedies to deal with these unlikely events may include: a
Command for the rover to switch to its backup X-band radio and commands
instructed to reset the clock and answer via UHF.
"In the last seven months we have tried to make contact
Opportunity over 600 times, "said Callas. While we did not hear
back from the rover and the likelihood that we ever want it decreases
Today, we plan to continue pursuing any logical solution that could bring us
back in contact. "
For the opportunity team, time is of the essence.
Season "- the season on Mars, when the wind could get stronger
Clean the rover's solar panels from dust that may be prevented
Charging the batteries – comes to an end. Meanwhile, Mars opens
southern winter, which brings extremely low temperatures
which can cause irreparable damage to the batteries of a non-powered Rover
Wiring and / or computer systems.
Either these extra transfer strategies or "sweep and beep" generated
As a reaction from the rover, engineers might try to recover. If opportunity
Do not reply, the project team would again consult with the Mars Program Office at JPL and NASA
Headquarters to determine the way forward.
Learn more about Opportunity and Mars Exploration
Rover Program, visit:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, 19459009