NASA Mars rover UDPATE: NASA plan to save Opportunity from dust storm Science News

The Opportunity rover was lost due to radio silence when the Mars dust storm took off on 10 June this year.

The fierce weather phenomenon completely drove the marshmallow and forced the Opportunity robber to survive.

The ultimate attempt to preserve the life of the solar-powered batteries of the external rover has kept the NASA technicians in the dark about Opportunity status.

Now that the giant storm seems to have subsided, NASA shared its six major recovery efforts, directed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Step one: "A tau under two"

In order to get the opportunity to resume scientific observations from Mars, the robber must recharge his solar batteries.

But the monstrous dust storm has prevented sunlight from reaching the surface of the planet, raising the value of a sunlight measurement known as tau.

NASA's engineers predict that the rover will need a tau of less than 2.0 before the robot's solar panels can switch to acceleration again.

The last tau measured by Opportunity on 10 June stood at 10.8 at a location where the average tau is around 05.

NASA Mars rover: Opportunity rover on Mars

NASA rover update: the Opportunity rover is still burned out in the Martian dust storm (Image: NASA)

Step two: "Two ways to listen to opportunities"

Every week, NASA technicians use the so-called Deep Space Network (DSN) to restore communication with the rover.

The DSN is a network of planetary probes between Mars and Earth that ping the rover during the planned "wake-up times" in the hope of a return signal.

But the JPL radio experts also use the DNS antennas to search for a wider range of frequencies on signals from each radio signal transmitted by the rover.

If the rover soon wakes up during the day on Mars, NASA's JPL must be able to find recordings of Opportunity's "vote."

Step three: "Rover defect"

If the robot is struck by a major problem remotely, he can use a so-called "error mode" by default, where he performs a number of tasks at the atomic level to maintain a good condition.

These errors include a low power failure, a clock fault and a fault in increasing voltage.

NASA explained: "Low-power fault: engineers assume that the rover has landed in a power outage shortly after he no longer communicated on 10 June.

"This mode causes the rover to go into sleep mode, assuming that it will wake up in a time when there is more sunlight to charge it."

NASA rover update: Mars Opportunity rover

NASA rover update: the Mars robot can not charge its solar batteries during the dust storm (Image: NASA)

Clock error occurs when the rover's clock does not work during hibernation.

The error is critical because without the clock the rover does not known when it is supposed to wake up from his deep sleep.

And And last but not least if Opportunity has not received signals from Earth for a long time, the robot will enter uploss error – a warning that its communication systems may not work properly.

If the rover is activated uploss error it will try to communicate with the Earth by coming up with a way to reclaim a distress signal.

Step four: "What happens when they hear back?"

It may take weeks for NASA's engineers to hear from the rover, or not at all, but the space agency remains positive.

Before Opportunity disappeared into the dust storm, the batteries were in good condition, meaning that it was unlikely that they would be seriously affected.

The warm temperatures of the summer in Mars also suggest Opportunity was warm enough to survive, which means that the rover might well send out a signal in the near future.

NASA said: "After the first time engineers hear something of Opportunity, there may be a delay of a few weeks for a second time.

NASA rover update: Martian Rover on Mars

NASA rover update: Scientists think the storm in Mars is decreasing (Image: NASA)

"It is as if a patient is coming from a coma: it takes time to fully recover.

Engineers assume that the robber has landed in a power outage shortly after he no longer communicated on 10 June


"It may take some communication sessions before technicians have enough information to take action."

The space agency must first determine the exact status of the rover before it can be used again.

NASA engineers will need to analyze Opportunity's batteries for signs of wear and reset the clock if it has lost time.

The rover will also send a picture of itself back to NASA's engineers to see if it suffered any physical damage during the storm.

NASA rover update: Dust Storm on Mars

NASA rover update: Contact with Opportunity was lost on 10 June due to the increasing storm (Image: NASA)

Step five: "Not from the forest"

Assuming that the physical integrity of the Martian rover remains unaffected, NASA engineers are still worried that the rover's batteries are irreparable.

Strangely enough, the dusty storm is the least concern of NASA beyond dusty lenses.

If the batteries are too empty and have been inactive for too long, the capacity to record a load can be seriously affected.

Future energy drainage can be incredibly inefficient, especially during the Martian winter when the rover has to use its heaters on board.

NASA rover update: Mars Opportunity rover postcard

NASA rover update: involved fans send a & # 39; digital postcard & # 39; to the Opportunity rover (Image: NASA)

NASA rover update: Mars opportunity rover postcard

NASA rover update: you can also send your own customized postcard (Image: NASA)

Step six: "Send chance a postcard"

Anyone interested in the Mars Rover rescue operation is encouraged to send a message to the JPL mission team and the Opportunity Rover itself.

You can send a message to the NASA scientists by clicking here – on the link you can customize your own digital postcard with one of Opportunity's many incredible photos from Mars.

"Martian fans" Corsette and NASA wrote to Opportunity: "Thank you, wake up! We missed you and it's time to get out of there and resume exploring!"

Another person wrote: "Wait there, Oppy, you do a great job and I love you."

Marianna from Italy also wrote: "Best opportunity, you are a symbol of resilience, do not give up now!

"There is a whole planet here rooting for you, greetings from Italy, Marianna. & # 39;

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