Engineers with NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program are trying to awaken Mars Opportunity rover through playing different songs on a daily basis from the control room.
The engineers have even started compiling a themed playlist with songs they can play until they heard that long-awaited beep from Opportunity once again.
Opportunity marked its 5,165th day on Mars on Aug. 4, but it remains sleeping after dust storms in May overpowered it.
NASA noted the last contact with the rover happened on June 10. It has likely suffered a low-power fault and may now have faulty mission-clock, the update said. The agency also believed that its up-loss timer has expired, resulting in another fault condition.
While the team is not expecting to hear anything from Opportunity up until there is a significant decrease in the atmospheric opacity brought by the dust storm, engineers manning the control room would like to take matters with their own hands through their carefully chosen song list.
Mars Opportunity Rover Wake-Up Song List
The team of engineers had already played "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in the hopes of having the rover out from its deep slumber. They had also played "Dust in the Wind" but still, to no avail.
Other songs in their playlist include The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun," Elton John's "Rocket Man," Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive" and their 2011 remastered version of "Bohemian Rhapsody," and David Bowie's 2015 remastered versions of "Space Oddity" and "Life on Mars." The team could only hope that Opportunity will finally wake up when it hears Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive."
"Morale has been a little shaky. This is the first time she [Opportunity] has stopped talking to us and not resumed communication when we expected," said Michael Staab, an engineer for the program.
"We'll just keep playing until she decides to talk to us," Staab added.
Meanwhile, the whole team continues to listen every day for the rover, NASA said. Members of the science team are listening during the expected fault communication windows or by using the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver.
The team also never fails to send a command three times a week, hoping that Opportunity will finally answer with its beep once again.
Martian Dust Storm
As of Aug. 6, NASA said clouds of dust have decreased, and surface features are starting to emerge. There are indications that atmospheric opacity is decreasing over where the Opportunity rover was last located. The storm started to subside, and the dust started to fall off on July 26.
The dust storm was first reported in May. By June 4 to 5, the atmosphere over the rover has deteriorated. By June 7 to 10, the dust storm intensified, and the Opportunity has since tripped a low-power fault, going silent up until this day.