FILE – This composite of photos from March 2015, provided by NASA, shows a shallow crater called the Spirit of St. Louis, about 110 feet (34 meters) long and 24 meters (24 meters) wide. The rocky feature at the other end of the crater is 2 to 3 feet (2 to 3 meters) high, rising higher than the edge of the crater. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell University / Arizona University through AP)
NASA is trying to connect her recorder Mars last time before dropping out.
The router is silent for eight months, sacrificing one of the most intense dust storms in decades. Thick powder clouded the sky last summer and for months it blocked the sunlight from the solar panels of the spacecraft.
NASA announced on Tuesday it will issue the latest series of recovery commands, over 1,000 already sent. If there is no answer on Wednesday – NASA suspects will happen – The opportunity will be declared dead, 15 years after the red planet arrives.
Team members are already looking at Opportunity's achievements, including the confirmation water that once flowed to Mars. Possibility was the longest landmark on Mars. In addition to stamina, the six-wheeled rover set a roaming record of 28 miles (45 miles).
Her identical twin, the Spirit, has been declared dead in 2011, a year after it hit the sand and the communication stopped.
Both survived and surpassed the expectations of the opposite sides of Mars. Large golf cart carts are designed to work as geologists for only three months after they rocked our planetary neighbor in the interior of the airbags in January 2004.
It's no easier to say goodbye to Opportunity than to Spirit, "said project leader John Callas to the Associated Press.
"It's just like a loved one who's gone, and you still hope that they will come out and that they're healthy," he said. "But every passing day is diminishing and at some point you have to say" enough "and go on with your life. "
Deputy scientist Abigail Freyman is a 16-year-old high school student when Opportunity lands on Mars; she was inside the control center as part of a promotion program. Inspired, Fraeman became a planetary scientist, joining NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and finished as a Deputy Research Fellow in the project.
"That gives you an idea of how long the mission continues," she said. "Opportunity is just a working horse … I really think it is a proof of how well the mission is designed and how careful the vehicle management team is."
Instead of looking at the dust storm as bad luck, Callas believes that "the happiness that we have surrounded so many possible storms" over the years. Global dust storms are usually launched every few years and "we spent a long time without it".
Steve Squires of Cornell University, a leading scholar of both possibilities and spirit, believes that succumbing to a fierce storm is an "honorable way" for completing the mission.
"You can lose a lot of money over the years, betting against Opportunity," Squyres told AP on Tuesday.
Squyres's biggest gift of ruber is to provide a geological record in two different places where water once flowed to Mars, and describes the conditions there that may have supported the possible ancient life.
NASA last heard from Opportunity on June 10. Flight controllers tried to awaken the rover, inventing and sending command after command, month after month. The Martian sky finally cleared enough to reach the sunlight at the solar panels of the Rover, but there was still no answer. Now on Mars it becomes colder and darker, further darkening.
Engineers suggest that the internal clock on the rifle may have been shaken during a prolonged interruption, breaking the sleep cycle on the burst and depleting the built-in batteries. Especially disappointing, according to Kallas, not knowing exactly why Opportunity – or Spirit – failed.
It now depends on Curiosity and the newly acquired InSight Lander to continue the legacy, he said, along with a spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
As for "Opportunity," "it gave us a bigger world," Kallas said. "Mars is now part of our neighborhood.
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