The space center is optimistic the batteries survived the storm, but nothing is certain until Opportunity can recharge its batteries.
As of Aug. 14, the level of darkness was still slightly too high for the solar system to start up. When that happens, the rover should be able to “phone home” to Earth.
However, it is possible Opportunity suffered two other malfunctions during the storm, including a “uploss fault” which could mean communication equipment aren’t functioning properly.
Curiosity, the only other active rover on Mars, remains operational because of its nuclear-powered battery.
You’re a survivor, you’re not gonna give up.— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) August 17, 2018
Hang in there, Oppy! Here’s how the @MarsRovers team will try to reach her now that this dust storm is starting to calm down: https://t.co/BwDJI5PYSLpic.twitter.com/LBMvIxAggh
Despite NASA’s optimism that Opportunity will eventually call home, they warn that the rover may never work the same again.
“The rover’s batteries could have discharged so much power — and stayed inactive so long — that their capacity is reduced,” a fact sheet read. “If those batteries can’t hold as much charge, it could affect the rover’s continued operations.”
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