No, no… don’t get your hopes up. We haven’t heard from Opportunity. We haven’t heard a peep, bleep, churp or burp from her for 109 days, since she fell silent on June 10th. The MER team is still pinging her and listening for a reply, but so far nothing.
So why the “THERE she is!!” title of this post?
Because the HiRISE camera onboard the MRO probe orbiting Mars has taken a new image of the rim of Endeavour Crater, and it shows Opportunity perched halfway down Perseverance Valley – right where she was when we last heard from her.
I was delighted to see this image yesterday, and to get to work on processing it too. Niot just because a new HiRISE image of Opportunity was long, long overdue – the last one was taken on Valentine’s Day 2014 I think – but because it was just lovely to see Opportunity again. Of course, there was no risk she wouldn’t be there – it’s not as if the dust storm would have blown her over, like Matt Damon in The Martian, and the likelyhood of her being carried away by Jawas for sale to some moisture farmers down in ...