Dust storm continues to encircle Mars; NASA's Opportunity Rover remains unreachable

15 August 2018, 05:12 PM
NASA's Opportunity Rover remains unreachable as Dust storm continue to encircle Mars (Photo: Twitter)
NASA's Opportunity Rover remains unreachable as Dust storm continue to encircle Mars (Photo: Twitter)

As space dust storm engulfs Mars, NASA has been unable to establish contact with the Opportunity Rover - which has been exploring the red planet for 14 years for two months. The US space agency, however, is relentlessly trying to make contact with the rover which recently underwent and emergency shutdown, scientists say. NASA's last contact with the Opportunity rover was June 10.

"Scientists think early to mid-September might be a time when the skies clear enough that it could recharge," Andrew Good, Mars and Mars technology media relations specialist, told 'Inverse'.

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Owing to the dust storm, the robotic rover failed to power itself through its solar panels robotic rover and had to undergo an emergency shutdown. 
Since then, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been trying helplessly to send Opportunity a message command three times a week.

The dust storm on Mars is gradually dying. Dust-lifting sites have decreased and surface features are starting to emerge, NASA scientists say.

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There are indications that the atmospheric opacity might be decreasing over the Opportunity site. Since the last contact with the rover , Opportunity has likely experienced a low-power fault and perhaps, a mission-clock fault. 
        
Meanwhile, NASA's Curiosity Rover, which runs on a nuclear-powered battery, continues to study the other side of the planet.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 03:37 PM
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