NASA Aerospace Agency through itsThe official website reported that so far it has not been able to reconnect with the Opportunity Mars rover, whose mission today, January 25, 2019, marks exactly 15 years. The last session between the Earth and the rover was held on June 10, 2018. Soon after, the whole Red Planet was covered by a very powerful dust storm, which, according to scientists, happens every 6-8 years.
Despite the fact that the storm ended a few months later, Opportunity never made contact.
"Fifteen years of work on the surface of Marsare not only evidence of the excellent qualities of this research machine, but also of the returns demonstrated by the talented team of the expedition, which allowed us to develop a program for the development of the Red Planet, ”commented the rover mission manager John Callas from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“However, to the joy of the anniversary, bittersmack due to the fact that we still do not know the fate of the rover. We are doing everything possible to establish a connection with Opportunity, however, as time goes on, the probability of a successful communication session with the rover continues to decrease. ”
The last time "Opportunity" spentexploration in a valley 22 kilometers wide at the edge of the Endeavor crater. After a storm descended on the planet, he entered the “sleep” mode, because, due to the dust hanging in the atmosphere, it was not possible to recharge his two lithium batteries using solar panels. To remove the rover from this mode is still not possible.
Launched on June 8, 2003 and landed on the RedThe planet on January 25, 2004, a golfcar-sized rover, exceeded the estimated duration of its mission by 57 times, having worked 5 thousand Martian days instead of 90 planned Martian days, and instead of the calculated 1 kilometer and 6 meters of the Martian surface over 45 kilometers. By February 2018, the device transmitted more than 225 thousand images of Mars to Earth, many of which are yet to be studied by scientists.
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