NASA is making a new, and perhaps final, attempt to restore contact with the Mars Rover Opportunity, which has not communicated with the Earth for more than six months. From a report: The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Jan. 25 that it was transmitting a new set of commands to address what it acknowledged are "low-likelihood" events that could have kept the rover from contacting Earth. These new efforts are in addition to the months-long "sweep and beep" campaign of transmitting other commands and listening for a reply from the rover. The new commands address scenarios where the rover's primary X-band radio has failed or both the primary and backup X-band radios have failed, as well as cases where Opportunity's internal clock has an offset affecting its timing. The commands direct the rover to switch to the backup X-band radio or use its UHF transmitter to contact Earth, as well as resetting its clock. Those scenarios could explain why the rover has failed to contact Earth, but project officials acknowledge that those scenarios are unlikely. "A series of unlikely events would need to have transpired for any one of these faults to occur," JPL noted in the statement about the new campaign.
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