The venerable Opportunity rover is going through a tough time on Mars. For the past four months, the 15-year-old robot has been caught in a planet-wide dust storm that left it stranded on Perseverance Valley inside the Endeavour Crater.
The massive dust clouds obscuring the Martian sky have starved the solar-powered of vital sunlight, rendering it incapable of charging its batteries and communicating with the science team and everyone else back home.
As a result, Opportunity — or Oppy, as it is known to its many fans — has gone silent on June 10, plunging into a sort of hibernation mode. And, while the global dust storm on Mars is now slowly coming to an end, as the Inquisitr recently reported, Oppy is still trapped in its enforced slumber and hasn’t woken up yet or radioed home.
But the Opportunity rover is not alone in this fight. On the other side of the red planet, its younger sibling, the Mars Curiosity Rover, is cheering the robot on, while patiently waiting for Oppy to wake up — just like the rest of us.
The nuclear-powered Curiosity robot has come away unscathed from the monstrous Martian storm and has already resumed science operations on the slopes of Mount Sharp inside the Gale Crater, as reported by the Inquisitr.
While NASA continues to monitor the situation and listen in on all radio signals coming from Mars in hopes of picking up Oppy’s voice, Curiosity is rallying Oppy supporters to send their love to the embattled robot.
The 6-year-old robot is inviting all Oppy fans to write down a few encouraging words on a digital postcard and beam it to the Opportunity rover on Mars.
“As this massive Martian dust storm clears and NASA works to regain communication, join me in sending a postcard to Opportunity,” Curiosity tweeted last night.
As this massive Martian dust storm clears and @NASA works to regain communication, join me in sending a postcard to @MarsRovers Opportunity: https://t.co/cmWexM51Q6 #OppyPhoneHome pic.twitter.com/JfcU0qLQd3— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) September 2, 2018
Anyone who wishes to show their support for Oppy’s recovery can do so by going on the Mars Exploration Program website and following three easy steps to send the rover a postcard. To customize your message to Oppy, choose from a variety of iconic images from the robot’s long and fruitful mission to Mars and write down a few thoughts for the intrepid rover.
More than 4,800 people have already sent a postcard to Opportunity, encouraging the rover to “wake up” and call home.
“Hey, Oppy, we’re still listening and actively working for your recovery. Please phone home. All of us at NASA are pulling for you!” a NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, another support campaign for the Opportunity rover is currently ongoing on social media, as lots of heartfelt, encouraging messages have flooded Twitter under the hashtags #WakeUpOppy and #SaveOppy, reports Space.
“As nerve-wracking as it’s been for us, it’s been painful for the team. This is their life’s work, their joy in coming to work every day. Send along whatever support you can to all of them so they can hear us, use these hashtags #WakeUpOppy #SaveOppy,” science journalist Shannon Stirone posted on Twitter.