Friday, July 30, 2010

Spirit May Never Phone Home Again

July 30, 2010: NASA mission controllers have not heard from Mars rover Spirit since March 22 as the rover faces its toughest challenge yet - trying to survive the harsh Martian winter. Last year, Spirit became stuck in loose sand. This prevented the rover from driving to a sun-facing slope for the winter. On July 26, mission managers began using a paging technique called "sweep and beep" in an effort to communicate with Spirit. "Instead of just listening, we send commands to the rover to respond back to us with a communications beep," said John Callas, project manager for Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "If the rover is awake and hears us, she will send us that beep." Full story here

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