What is in the center of the box in the upper image, which measures 47 × 47 meters, is the Opportunity rover photographed from about 267 kilometers above the surface of Mars. Opportunity has not shown signs of life since June 10.
The analysis of the image indicates the opacity index of the Martian atmosphere, tau, is approximately 1.3, below the value of 1.5 that NASA believes is the limit that should allow Opportunity to reload its batteries … if nothing has definitely gone wrong in the nearly three months that went by in the dark or that solar panels are clean enough.
Actually, NASA has been sending commands to Opportunity since Sept. 11 to see if they can wake him up. This phase of Opportunity’s recovery campaign will last 45 days. If at the end of this period the rover has not shown signs of life, they will change to a passive listening mode to see if he gives signals by himself. In that case, the passive listening period would be extended until the end of January 2019, at which time the agency would be willing to give the rover for lost.
Iit really is a little disheartening that we can see Opportunity and that it has not yet given signs of life, but, we must remember it was designed to last 90 Martian days and, at the moment of last contact, it had been in operation for more than 14 years.