It can be seen, though NASA’s marshal is not yet heard, an ominous Opportunity because of the dust storm. A satellite circling around Mars has sent a photo of the vehicle.
The spacecraft broke up in early June when a huge dust storm emerged on the red planet, preventing the solar powered engine of the research vehicle from charging.
In the photo, the gangway looks like a dull point. The recording was made by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), NASA’s Mars reconnaissance satellite, 267 kilometers from the Sea last week. The image was released from NASA’s Planet Research Institute at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California on Tuesday.
Although the dust storm has dropped and the gloom of Mars is clear enough for the rover’s solar cells to reach sunlight, the Opportunity has not yet sent any signals.
At the beginning of the month, NASA announced that it will be actively attempting to wake the marshal for 45 days if the sky above the research vehicle becomes clear enough to begin the restoration of the communications link. If Opportunity does not respond for 45 days, it probably means that the missile has suffered a defect at the end of its mission.
NASA launched Opportunity and Spirit twin launches for exploration of planetary rock and soil in 2003. Spirit in 2009 stuck in Martian sand, and NASA finally interrupted its efforts to free up. Both rover missions were originally designed for only 90 days, but Opportunity has been serving the Red Planet for almost 15 years.
The nuclear energy Curiosity, which is on the other side of Mars and is studying the soil of the Gale Crater, is still in operation.
Storms are common in Marson, especially when the Southern Hemisphere has spring and summer, so when the planet is closest to the Sun. As the atmosphere is warming, the diffuse difference from the soil temperature creates winds that move the very fine dust particles of the same size as dust.
Martian storms are usually local, but now, by mid-June, the whole planet has evolved into a global phenomenon.