NASA is on its final endeavor to revive its contact with the Mars rover, termed Opportunity. This rover has not communicated with the Earth in the past 6 months that has depleted the hopes of the space agency. However, the final call may bring about good news to the agency.
On 10th June, Opportunity had contacted Earth in the form of a dust storm, which had enveloped the planet, cutting off the solar power and darkened the sky. When the sky cleared in August, the scientists tried to revive the connections with the rover, which didn’t succeed.
On 25th January, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory declared it will be transmitting a new range of commands to the rover in the hope that it will again be able to establish a fresh connection. The commands will identify the low-likelihood incidents that must have been keeping the rover from connecting with the Earth. Another sweep and beep campaign has also been established to transmit other information while listening to the response from the rover.
The fresh set of commands will take care of the scenarios of the failed attempts of the primary radio of X-band, along with its backup counterpart. Other cases will also be addressed like the instance when the internal clock of Opportunity had failed to operate properly, affecting the time. The commands will instruct the rover to switch over to the backup X-band radio or utilize the UHF transmitter to establish a successful connection between the rover and Earth while resetting the clock. After scrutinizing the scenarios, the scientists will be able to conclude why the rover failed to connect with the Earth. However, the officials from the project believe the chances of completing all the speculations are thin.
JPL also mentioned that the current scenarios must have occurred due to some of the unexpected incidents.