Mars is in the dark and so is the fate of the Opportunity Rover of NASA on its status and its whereabouts. With the solar panels of the robot, unable to receive any light because of the dust storm, the battery levels have reached a point where it has retired to a sleeping mode. This means that it will no longer transmit information to Earth. But fortunately, Curiosity rover has been doing great, conveying for both. In fact, it has managed to take a selfie amidst the storm and that too a great one.
It’s been almost fifteen years in a row that NASA’s Opportunity rover is out of Earth and overall these last so many years, the trustworthy robot has been roaming around the surface of Mars. But with this dust storm we may have lost it, if not permanently, temporarily. It has been several days now that a massive dust storm, almost the size of North America has engulfed the planet and covered Opportunity rover.
Bill Nelson, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the chief of the Opportunity mission’s engineering team, told Mashable that while Curiosity has been out there performing and seems fabulous, Opportunity isn’t that good at all. It has fallen so badly that it has stopped communicating. It is quite scary, as we expect to hear from her.
On June 8th, around a week ago, NASA declared that Opportunity had been covered by eternal night, due to a massive dust storm on Mars. While Opportunity has sustained many storms ever since it first landed on the surface of the Red Planet in 2004, this particular storm is terrible. As of present everyone is just waiting with eager breaths for the rover to repower once the wind gets over.
Nelson quoted that if at all the cells goes completely dead, its trouble. Saying so, Opportunity had all odds before. The 400-pound rover has been meant to be operational for just 90 days, but it has exceeded all expectations, and as far by a factor more than 56, and there is always a possibility that it will continue defying more expectations.
Nelson mentioned that he is reasonably very optimistic and hopeful that they will be able to recover.