back to article Sorry, but NASA says Mars signal wasn't Opportunity knocking

Space-fans pricked up their Twitter-ears today, when just for a few minutes it looked like the little lost rover Opportunity had woken up. Opportunity has been silent since June, when a massive dust storm blocked its solar panels from charging its battery. At the time, NASA boffins explained it would have put itself in a …

  1. et tu, brute?

    "Here at Vulture West we're crossing fingers and toes"

    And arms and legs and whatever else can be crossed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Theme that comes to mind

      Lassie! Lassie come home!

    2. }{amis}{

      RE: Here at Vulture West we're crossing fingers and toes

      All 27 of them.....

    3. Spherical Cow

      "And arms and legs and whatever else can be crossed..."

      Not the streams.

  2. Ochib

    Non Relevent XKCD

    1. Antonius_Prime

      Re: Non Relevent XKCD

      Impossible! There has never been a proven instance of a given situation not having a relevant XKCD!

  3. Semtex451

    Any explanation why the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sent that, is it April 1st on Mars?

    Cruel joke if so.

  4. VanguardG

    It was just two red-planet pranksters named Mart and Ian


    1. DropBear

      Don't be too hard on them, they were just marooned and trying to phone home. Have you got any idea how hard it is to get your hands on a Speak and Spell on Mars?!?

  5. johnnyblaze

    Why doesn't someone just go up there with some Pledge and give it a good dust off. Job done. All those NASA boffins couldn't plan for dust on the solar panels obviously!

    1. Semtex451


      It should have had a 'Wet dog mode': it elevates its chassis and tilts it rapidly from side to side.

      1. fedoraman

        Re: agreed

        a bit like the "de-mud" mode, in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson


    Fingers and other appendages crossed (BTW, for vultures, should that not be talons?) for better luck next time

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Pity

      (BTW, for vultures, should that not be talons?)


      It could be a Taelon ship crossing the path of the Arecibo message about 22 years ago, thereby causing the signal to be reflected back and what NASA has received is a fragment from it

  7. Stevie


    Oh for a human being with a dollar-store whisk broom ...

  8. TVU

    "Sorry, but NASA says Mars signal wasn't Opportunity knocking"

    Opportunity landed very close to Mars' equator so there should still be plenty of daylight around to recharge Opportunity's solar panels. However, if six Earth months from now we still haven't heard from Opportunity then we will probably have to sadly assume that the poor little rover hasn't made it.

  9. sitta_europea

    I suppose shining a powerful laser on it is out of the question?

    After all, Mars is about as close as it gets to us at the moment.

    1. Spherical Cow

      The relevant XKCD:

  10. Spherical Cow

    Something odd is going on here.

    The MRO relayed a message from OPPY but the message wasn't from OPPY. How does a mistake like this even happen? Isn't relaying messages correctly one of MRO's core functions?

  11. SealTeam6

    it was Mark Watney

  12. JCitizen

    it was aliens!!

    It was aliens I tells ya! ( goes the tired old cliche)

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