CABO CAÑAVERAL, Florida, USA. (AP) – NASA would like to listen to its probe about Mars Opportunity again, because the red sky of the planet clears up after a huge dust storm.
Flight controllers have been alert to every Opportunity message since a dust storm flooded Mars in June and contact with the probe had been lost.
The storm is finally over and the Mars sky is clear enough for the Opportunity solar panels to receive sunlight and turn the probe back on.
However, NASA warned in recent days that it may never hear Opportunity again. If there is no news in the coming months, NASA says it will reduce its efforts to listen to it. Even if a message from the probe _muda has arrived since 10 June, this is perhaps the most you can do now.
Even before the dust storm, the 15-year-old catheter showed signs of age. His front address and flash memory are no longer working.
"We hope our stubborn probe will again get the feet of the fire," said project manager John Callas in a statement from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Opportunity's probe, Spirit, was stuck in a soft earth zone of Mars in 2009 and NASA finally stopped trying to free it. Both probes, however, were designed to work only 90 days and exceeded all expectations. They were released in 2003 and landed on Mars in 2004.
Another NASA probe, Curiosity, was not affected by the dust storm, it depends on nuclear energy and not on solar energy.
Meanwhile another NASA spacecraft, InSight, is on its way to Mars and should land on Mars soil in November. This robot explorer has solar panels.