Opportunity Mars Rover to revive after Martian Dust Storm
The last time NASA heard from Opportunity Mars Rover was on 10 June 2018, when Mars, the red planet was covered by the Martial Dust Storm. Dust storms on Mars block sunlight from reaching the surface.
According to NASA, it is possible that a layer of dust deposited on the Opportunity Mars Rover's solar panels by the recent global dust storm is blocking sunlight that could recharge its batteries. Based on the historical data, the period from November-to-January is when the dust gets cleared and has helped clean the rover's panels in the past. The team remains hopeful that some dust clearing may result in hearing from the rover in this period.
Opportunity has exceeded its expected lifespan many times over. Both Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, were designed to last only 90 days on the Martian surface, with the expectation that the planet's extreme winters and dust storms could cut their mission short. The rover has lasted nearly 15 years: It last communicated on June 10 before being forced into hibernation by the growing dust storm.
Interesting facts about Opportunity and Spirit
- Spirit the elder one was launched on June 10, 2003, UTC and landed on Mars, the Red Plante on January 4, 2004.
- Opportunity, the younger one was launched on July 8, 2003, UTC and landed on Mars, the Red Plante on January 25, 2004.
- Spirit lasted 20 times longer than its original design until its final communication to Earth on March 22, 2010,
- Opportunity is still believed to be operational and functional.
News Source: NASA News Page
Image shown in the article is just an illustration, not the actual image.