Skip to comments.Nasa Opportunity rover still lost on Mars as dust storm which engulfed the Red Planet begins...
Posted on 08/15/2018 6:51:05 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Nasa robot is still missing and presumed dead on the surface of Mars. Space scientists lost contact with the Opportunity Rover almost two months ago as it was buffeted by a huge dust storm which covered the entire surface of Mars.
The swirling maelstrom will have deposited powder onto the solar panels which power the exploration droid, meaning it cannot recharge its battery to make contact with mission control back on Earth.
New pictures taken by professional and amateur astronomers in recent days have shown the features of Mars emerge once again as the dust settles.
But theres still no sign of Opportunity and the mood at Nasas Jet Propulsion Laboratory is beginning to falter.
(Excerpt) Read more at metro.co.uk ...
Opportunity , phone home
It gave us 14 years of work in a hostile environment with no maintenance. Pretty damn impressive.
I am surprised they did not include a brush to sweep the solar panels clean.
No worries, Matt Damon will find it.
I like how a British publication knows all about how the crew at JPL feel.
If the storm is just winding down, it only makes sense that the rover is still out of communication.
My kid worked on a NASA mission where the satellite in deep space went dark for several months before they were able to re-establish comms. Hopefully they’ll do the same with this one.
It was designed for something like 6 months of mission life and lasted 14 years.
Agreed. And what is equally impressive is that it also survived obama throwing the off switch for 8 years.
It will hibernate and wait for Marvin to clean its panels
I know right? That was so bizarre.
it would have lasted for a few more years if they had thought about a cleaning method for its ONLY power source.
Have they blamed Trump or Globull Warming or Climate Change yet?................
1) The opportunity rovers were part of NASA’s faster, better, cheaper initiative, so they had to come in under a very tight budget. So keep it simple, minimize cost, minimize complexity.
2) I believe they did have strategies for extending solar cell life, but solar cells degrade over time in any case. At some point, just that degradation reduces the output to the point where mission is no longer possible. Dust storms just add to that problem.
3) Keep in mind that its 14 years into a 6 month expected life, and the solar cells are not the only thing that may be at or near end of life. Batteries, motors, electronics, bearings, and gears, all wear out eventually. I am sure that the focus of this report on the solar cells is omitting the tremendous effort by the operations crew that has gone into keeping the rover running for this long. At some point, one or more of these types of failures just puts you beyond recovery.
Was there a earth shattering Kaboom?
I hope Shiela Jackson Lee gets a chance to steer it over toward the flag Neil Armstrong planted to take a picture before the thing goes kaput for good.
I don’t imagine it’s lost as they KNOW where it is.
Just lost communication.
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