A NASA Mars orbiter has spotted the agency’s Opportunity rover on the Red Planet for the first time since it went into hibernation after a dust storm swept over the region a little more than 100 days ago and blocked sunlight from reaching the rover.
A high-resolution camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the image of the rover on the slopes of the Red Planet’s Perseverance Valley, NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.
But the future of Opportunity is still in limbo as NASA has still not heard from the 14-year-old solar-powered rover.
The image of the rover, taken on September 20, was produced from about 267 kilometers above the Martian surface.
The image showed that the dust storm over Perseverance Valley has substantially cleared.
NASA scientists estimated that the tau — a measurement of how much sunlight reaches the surface — over Opportunity to be a little higher than 10 during some points during the dust storm.