Curiosity is not the only NASA rover currently on Mars – Rover Opportunity has been on the red planet since 2004. But last year the rover has disappeared from communications when a huge dust storm has broken the planet and has not been
The Opportunity router is powered by solar energy and the storm has pulled so much dust that the sun's rays have been blocked to reach the surface of the planet recharge its batteries. The router has not reacted to Earth contact and over the past seven months has overlooked over 600 calls, which has led NASA's team to believe it may no longer be able to continue its mission. clear, the wind would blow the dust that covered the solar panels on the rover so that the rover could recharge. But that did not happen and the rover was silent. NASA is trying to connect to the rover through a strategy called "cleaning and beep", where instead of simply listening to Opportunity responses, they send commands to the queue to respond with a beep, but have so far been unsuccessful.
Now NASA's scientists are trying to make a last attempt to connect to the Rover, based on three incredible but possible scenarios: the original X-band radio on the Rover has failed, and the primary and secondary X-band radios have failed, or that the internal clock has shifted. The team commands the Rover to switch to its backup radio frequency and restart its clock to counteract these possibilities.
"While we have not heard of the queue and the probability that will ever happen, decreases every day, we plan to continue to pursue any logical decision that could bring us back in the feedback," said John Callas, a design project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
These strategies become urgent because of the seasonal changes on Mars. The season of strong winds that could clear the dust from Opportunity's solar panels is over, and southern winter will soon arrive, which means very low temperatures that are likely to cause irreparable damage to the systems of the Rover. NASA will try to send the new commands for several weeks, but if this option does not respond, it is likely that the mission will be abandoned.