Nasa aims to re-connect with its adventurous solar-driven spacecraft silenced in June by a planet-wide dust storm

Nasa is preparing to contact its Mars rover, Opportunity, again, a spacecraft that has been silent for almost three months. Launched in July 2003 the rover was designed for a 90-day mission on the surface of the planet. Now, almost 15 years later, the mission has been more of a success than anyone could have imagined.

The rover had been originally expected to travel just 1,000 yards on Mars, but has clocked up more than 28 miles. Its last transmission was received on 10 June as a dust storm was engulfing the planet. The dust cut visibility in the atmosphere so the rover’s solar panels could not generate enough power to keep the craft functioning. By the end of June the dust storm had encircled the entire planet.

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