NASA to reach out Opportunity rover before shutting down Mars mission

Opportunity lost its battery after a sand storm on Mars.

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NASA will be making one last attempt to reach out to its Opportunity Rover on Mars. The space agency also said it would hold a briefing on Wednesday, during which it might declare the end on the mission.

NASA to reach out Opportunity rover before shutting down Mars mission

 

Opportunity landed on the Red Planet in 2004 and traveled around 45 kilometers there, registered its name in the history books for lasting well beyond its expected 90-day mission. But due to a dust storm last year the sunlight was blocked causing the solar-powered batteries discharged on the Opportunity.

Despite a lot of efforts from the NASA engineers to get a response via radio signals, its last communication was on June 10. 2018. Although the storm cleared eventually, the 15-year old rover is yet to re-communicate with Earth ever since.

"I haven't given up yet. This could be the end. Under the assumption that this is the end, it feels good. I mean that" said Professor Steven Squyres, mission's principal investigator told The New York Times. If the storm has damaged the rover drastically, "that's an honorable death", Squyres added.

Mars is heading towards the southern winter, which will cause intense temperature drops that might cause more damage to the rover's computer systems in an irreparable way.

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