Opportunity in Standby as Commanding Moratorium Ends
PASADENA, Calif. - During a moratorium on commanding this month while Mars passed nearly behind the sun - a phase called solar conjunction -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity entered a type of standby mode.
Mission controllers learned of the changed status on April 27 when they first heard from Opportunity after the period of minimized communication during the solar conjunction. They prepared fresh commands today (April 29) for sending to the rover to resume operations.
Initial indications suggest the rover sensed something amiss while doing a routine camera check of the clarity of the atmosphere on April 22.