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NASA plans 45-day effort to get its Mars rover back

IANS  |  Washington 

US space agency is planning to start its effort to restore communication with the Mars

In a recent statement, said it would begin a 45-day campaign of active efforts to restore communications with once skies above the cleared to a sufficient level, reported.

The has been out of contact since early June, when a major dust storm deprived the rover of solar power and the storm is fading.

"The dust haze produced by the Martian global dust storm of 2018 is one of the most extensive on record, but all indications are it is finally coming to a close," said Rich Zurek,

Zurek said in the statement that there had been no signs of dust storms within 3,000 km of "for some time."

John Callas, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement that "assuming that we hear back from Opportunity, we will begin the process of discerning its status and bringing it back online."

However, NASA's plan attracted criticism because it limited the active part of the recovery to 45 days.

Mike Seibert, a former flight for Opportunity said that under once attempted "active listening" of Spirit, the twin of Opportunity, for 10 months in 2010 and 2011 when that rover stopped transmitting before giving up.

Callas said that if Opportunity did not respond to after that 45-day campaign, it likely meant the spacecraft had suffered a mission-ending malfunction.

"We will keep trying to get our Martian friend back online. We will not give up on #Oppy even after the 45 days of plan we have put in place!" tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate for science



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 03 2018. 02:56 IST