Perseverance Valley descends the inboard slope of the western rim of Endeavour Crater.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Opportunity Mars rover remains silent – a causality of a mega-dust storm that encircled the planet that was first detected May 30 and lead to a halt of the rover’s operations at Perseverance Valley.

Pre-launch photo of Opportunity at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Credit: NASA

“Still holding onto a sliver of hope that an almost 15 year old rover living under extreme conditions for a very long time will wake up and talk to us,” said Ray Arvidson, Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator of Washington University in St. Louis.

“We will continue to actively try and communicate with Opportunity at least through January,” Arvidson told Inside Outer Space.

Textured rows on the ground in this portion of “Perseverance Valley” were under investigation by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, which used its Navigation Camera to take the component images of this downhill-looking scene.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Extended mission

In the meantime, Arvidson has started drafting an Extended Mission-12 proposal on what Opportunity would do if the rover did get back into operations. The plan is due to NASA in mid-February.

“We don’t want to be caught off guard with no proposal and a revitalized rover coming back on line, say in late January,” Arvidson said. “The windy season is just beginning so it may happen.”

Winds could increase in the next few months at Opportunity’s location on Mars, resulting in dust being blown off the rover’s solar panels.

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