CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — NASA’s Mars rover, Opportunity, has been seen, but still not heard.
A spacecraft around Mars has sent back a photo of Opportunity, which has been silent ever since a massive dust storm engulfed the red planet in late spring. The rover appears in the photo as a pale dot.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took the picture last week from 166 miles (267 kilometers) up. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released the photo Tuesday.
The global dust storm prevented sunlight from reaching Opportunity’s solar panels, and the rover fell silent in June. Although the skies have cleared considerably, Opportunity has yet to send word to flight controllers.
NASA has stepped up efforts to contact Opportunity, but acknowledged the nearly 15-year-old rover may not have survived the prolonged power outage.
.@MarsRovers Opportunity: We’re rooting for you! While we keep listening for the rover to wake from hibernation due to a dust storm that swept over the Red Planet a little more than 100 days ago, a new image from our Mars orbiter spotted Opportunity. Look: https://t.co/il0OiHMZhD pic.twitter.com/GFCqhPpNS9
— NASA (@NASA) September 25, 2018