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Lost Mars Rover Opportunity may have phoned home

WesL

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#1
A lot of people seeing this status message fly by this afternoon. Waiting for confirmation from NASA if it was indeed Opportunity. If you didn't know earlier this year NASA lost communication with the rover during a giant (almost planet-wide) dust storm. It is assumed that the dust covered her solar panels and she ran out of juice to call home. Until today... maybe.

 
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#4
Phone home, Oppy!

In the meantime, people might appreciate this by space enthusiast Stuart Atkinson:

Ten years ago – well, ten years and five days ago to be precise – I sat down to begin this blog. By that time Opportunity had already been on Mars for four years or so, and I’d walked by her every step of the way . . .

. . . Of course, this is a dark time for followers of Opportunity. It’s now 183 long, lonely, silent days since she last phoned home. When a global dust storm curdled her sky and blotted out the Sun Oppy’s power levels plummeted and eventually she fell asleep – and despite the best recovery efforts of her team she has been asleep ever since. Will she wake? No-one knows. The MER team are still calling out to her and listening for her reply, day after day, but so far all they have heard is silence. She may be dead. She might have gone. But we have hope, all of us, and we will not lose that hope until it is clear there is no chance of Opportunity coming back to us.

It was tempting to write a 10th anniversary post looking back at my special memories of Opportunity’s mission, but I thought “What’s the point? They’re all on the blog already, people can find them if they want.” So instead I invited members of the MER team, past and present, to tell me – and you – about their special memories. As usual, many responded with great generosity and enthusiasm.

Here’s what they told me…see full post
He has done up some beautiful images, too.
 
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Corvallis, Oregon
#5
It's getting down to the wire. The windy season at Endeavour is almost over--BTW, is there a extraterrestrial weather forum possibility? ;)--and winds reportedly haven't cleaned off the solar panels; it's always possible something else might be wrong with the craft, too. They're working on it, but NASA is going to have to make a tough decision pretty soon.

Still . . .

. . . if this is the end, I can't imagine a better way for it to happen … 15 years into a 90-day mission and taken out by one of the worst martian dust storms in many years.”

-- Steven Squyres, quoted here
 

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