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Mars rover may not revive
Posted: Sat, Jul 31, 2010, 9:53 AM ET (1353 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, in a "hibernation" mode since late March, may not recover, NASA warned on Friday. Spirit entered a power-conservation mode on March 22 as it entered the depths of Martian winter because not enough sunlight was reaching its solar panels to keep the rover operating. Project officials have started efforts to restore communications with the rover but have not heard anything from the rover yet, although it may take until September or October before the rover's batteries are fully charged. Engineers are particularly concerned that low temperatures during the hibernation period could have damaged the rover's electronics. Spirit has been on Mars since January 2004, although since April of last year has been stuck in a patch of sandy soil. Spirit's twin rover, Opportunity, continues normal operations elsewhere on the planet.
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