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Mars rover Opportunity in "standby" mode
Posted: Wed, May 1, 2013, 6:10 AM ET (1010 GMT)
Mars Exploration Rover (NASA/JPL) Communications with the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity resumed this week with the discovery that the veteran spacecraft was in "a type of standby mode," JPL reported. Communications resume on April 27 after a month-long hiatus due to solar conjunction, and controllers found Opportunity in a state called automode. Engineers believe the rover detected a problem of some kind during atmospheric observations on April 22. Controllers planned to send commands to the rover this week to take it out of that standby mode and resume normal operations. Opportunity has been on Mars for over nine years, and remains in good condition. Operations of the Curiosity rover, which landed last August, are also expected to resume this week.
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