Rendering map of Mars Rover Opportunity released by NASA
Last June, a massive dust storm broke out on Mars, and NASA lost contact with Opportunity. As time went on, the hope of contacting Opportunity became increasingly dim. Because Opportunity is powered by solar cells, if the panel is covered with a lot of dust, it will no longer be able to charge and operate its batteries.
Opportunity's initial goal was to travel 700 yards (640 meters) over the surface of Mars for 90 days. It has actually been active on Mars for more than 14 years, more than 50 times the original plan.
The astronomical community speculates that NASA will still be unable to awaken Opportunity when it makes its last attempt Tuesday night.
Although we are not sure about Opportunity's fate before NASA's Wednesday launch, its prospects look bleak in the light of current signs.