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(Probably) Final Efforts to Reestablish Contact with Opportunity

15 years after landing and seven and a half months after last contact, the team is making what is likely the final push in the effort to reestablish contact with Opportunity. Since she failed to send as much as a beep in the months since the conditions should have allowed her to once again charge her batteries, the chances that the rover is still capable of communicating are very low and getting lower with every day that passes, but the time of year during which the solar panels have previously been cleaned of some of the dust deposited on them is now, so in case the problem so far has been that so much dust had gathered during the dust storm that hardly any sunlight reached the solar panels, it is possible that the situation has recently changed or will soon do so, at least a little. It’s unlikely, since being without power for so long would have most probably caused other failures, the amount of dust needed to prevent charging sufficiently to even send a beep would also in itself risk damaging the rover’s systems, and being covered in so much dust and then suddenly getting rid of quite a lot of it isn’t particularly likely either, but highly unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.
Still, there’s nothing the team can do about the dust, so they’re addressing other potential problems, sending commands which would provide Opportunity with instructions to get around potential failures which would require “a series of unlikely events”, I assume in order to occur on their own, without this implying a complete failure and the rover being unable to wake up on her own at all. Even if this strategy would be successful, I’m not sure how much the rover would still be able to do in such a state, especially if the problem, or one of the problems, has to do with a major failure of her communications systems, but I guess that’s something to think about if she will “call home” at all… And I still want to hope, at least a little bit, that she somehow will.


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