Mars Rover in Standby Mode

The image was taken by the HAZCAM on the rover Opporunity on Sol 3260 (recently). Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University

While Mars was in solar-conjunction, when the Sun was between Mars and the Earth and little to no communications could take place, the Rover Opportunity entered a standby state called “automode”. Automode maintains power balance and communication schedules but waits for commands from back home. No communications means no commands so the rover just waits.

What caused the rover to go into automode isn’t known yet, however while it doesn’t sound too serious, we don’t know that it isn’t either. The mission managers just found out about the rovers condition on April 27 as the solar-conjunction ends and communications from Opportunity return. Commands to reboot Oppy’s computers will be sent up today (April 29).

It’s worth noting the rover Opportunity has been operating on Mars for 9-years!

The Mar Science Laboratory – Curiosity – also has reported back and the report was rover is in “full health”. Commands to Curiosity will begin Tomrrow, May 1.

The story from NASA.

Leave a Reply