NASA’s Opportunity rover is currently sitting quietly on Mars, not doing much of anything. It’s been in a state of dormancy ever since a colossal Martian dust storm swallowed the planet whole over the past few months. With no life-giving solar power with which to charge its batteries, the rover was forced to shut down and hope that it woke up at a later date.
Engineers are starting to worry a bit about the condition of the rover. Opportunity is really, really old, and instead of working for its planned 90-day science stint on the Red Planet, it been steadily chugging along for over 14 years. NASA isn’t sure if it’s going to ever wake back up, but it’s trying to keep spirits high by playing some inspirational tunes.
As Space.com first reported, NASA has built something of a soundtrack for Opportunity, and it’s hoping that the songs will somehow snap the rover out of its funk even if it can’t actually hear them. The site put together a Spotify playlist containing the songs the team has been listening to and ones that it’s planning to play in the future. Check it out:
You’ve got some real classics here, and all of them have at least some kind of relevance to the current situation. “Dust in the Wind” is a classy choice, as is “Rocket Man,” but I’ve got to lean towards “I Will Survive” as being the most on-point track choice on the list.
The scientists at Opportunity’s now-cold controls have no idea how long it will take before the sunlight now cutting through the diminished dust cloud over Mars can charge the rover’s batteries. They remain optimistic that it just needs a bit more time to juice up before snapping to life, but nobody’s really certain. It could be days, weeks, or months… or it might never actually wake back up at all.