NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars may not contact again

The NASA Opportunity Mars probe has been out of contact for a long time. Since June 10, a huge dust storm on Mars has cut off the use of solar energy, which has put the Opportunity Mars probe into a dormant state. In a recent blog post on the NASA JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory Opportunity team, scientists released a brief update on the state of the rover, explaining several possibilities for the Lost Opportunity and the possibility of its awakening.

Side-by-side movies shows how dust has enveloped the Red Planet
Side-by-side movies show how dust has enveloped the Red Planet

In the blog post, scientists pointed out that one of the cases why we contact opportunity is the solar panel cannot charge the car battery and goes to sleep. The Opportunity rover’s battery will try to wake up it and send a signal to the earth after recovering enough power. Examination of the Opportunity batteries before the dust storm showed that they are in good condition and may not suffer too much degradation in sandstorms.

Another possible state is the more terrible “clock fault“. This failure occurs when the car clock is damaged. The Rover’s internal clock can check the power level and tell if it should wake up or not. Although the sandstorm of Mars is now over, solar energy should be able to recharge it after the sky has recovered, but the Mars is still out of sync. In theory, if the clock doesn’t work, the rover can guess the time by the light level, but it’s hard to do if the rover has gone to sleep.

The Opportunity team continued to warn that even if the Mars rover is awakened, it may be difficult to continue the Mars mission because of the serious damage. After all, the “Opportunity” Mars Rover has been in service for 14 years on Mars, and the long-term sandstorm may be serious damage to the battery condition. NASA compares the current situation of the rover to a comatose patient, which may take quite a while to fully recover. The fret’s battery pack may have suffered severe damage due to excessive sleep time, its maximum power may have been severely limited, and the rover car did not have enough power to continue working.


via cnbeta