As NASA’s Opportunity Rover on Mars still continues to sleep, engineers have decided to try a new approach and have created a brilliant musical playlist on Spotify in their latest efforts to help revive the sleeping beauty on the Red Planet.
According to Space, engineers working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory based in Pasadena felt that the Opportunity Rover needed a little bit of inspiration to lull it out of its sleeping state, and felt that playing Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” might just do the trick.
As engineer Michael Staab explained, “Morale has been a little shaky. This is the first time she [Opportunity] has stopped talking to us and not resumed communication when we expected.”
It should be noted that the musical plan concocted by NASA engineers isn’t a completely new idea. When Opportunity hit Mars in 2004, engineers created a song to wake up the rover each day. As the spacecraft was only planned to be in use for 90 days and continued on nearly 15 years later, the exuberance for this task dimmed over time.
However, since the intensity of the dust storm that began swirling around Mars in May, this solar-powered rover has been out of commission since the middle of June, something that is surely worrying NASA engineers.
As Staab noted, “That’s a long time to not hear from your rover, and we don’t know what it’s doing. We still have things to do; we still have work to get done. But it’s definitely slowed down a bit.”
Engineers are now passing the time not just by creating musical playlists for Opportunity, but also placing bets on when the rover will finally awaken, with these dates extending to the middle of September.
It was hoped that playing “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas would kick Opportunity straight into gear, but this did not happen. Michael Staab did say that Kansas was certainly elated that their song was being used to try and wake up the rover, however.
“The band actually reached out and was really excited that we were using one of their songs to wake up a Mars rover.”
NASA engineers have also tried playing The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” Queen’s “Keep Yourself Alive,” and David Bowie’s, “Life on Mars,” but there has still been no communication with Opportunity on Mars. Because of this, the plan is to just continue playing music until the rover finally decides to wake up.
If you would also like to listen along to the songs that NASA engineers are playing to try and revive the Opportunity Rover on Mars, they have kindly created a Spotify playlist that everyone can enjoy.