Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mars Rover Dust Storm Update

Conditions at Opportunity, which was facing a very dangerous part of the storm, is starting to see conditions better very slightly. Meanwhile, Spirit, which was seeing a calmer side of the storm, is now beginning to see the storm's violent side.

Power consumption is a major problem, because if the dust storm blocks out too much light, the rovers will die trying to absorb sunlight. A new problem faced by both rovers is the freshly settled dust on both rovers which blocks a lot of sunlight from reaching the solar panels. NASA has commanded Opportunity to communicate with Earth once every three days, while Spirit is communicating daily. Activity on Opportunity and Spirit has been almost completely suspended.

NASA is still hoping the best for their fighting rovers, which are continuing to survive through conditions which they were never meant to operate in.

Pictured: Opportunity's view, as the horizon becomes more opaque every day. Image Credit: NASA
Original Article: NASA

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