NASA: Violent storms on Mars, opportunity rover lost connection to home

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spinonews opportunity rover

An intense massive dust storm prevailed on Mars the NASA’s opportunity rover has lost communication from earth.

NASA officials have mentioned it as “The Martian dust storm that has blotted out the sun above Opportunity has continued to intensify,” wrote in a mission update.”The storm, which was first detected on May 30, now blankets 14 million square miles of Martian surface a quarter of the planet.”  The blankets of dust covered the solar panels of opportunity rover there is no sufficient sunlight to connect earth from the location on Mars.

spinonews
source:space.com

Moreover, the signal failure message from the opportunity rover to NASA jet propulsion laboratory states that “low power fault mode” where all the rover systems get shut down except mission clock.  The mission clock programmed to turn on rover and check power levels if it can make calls to earth.

“If the rover’s computer determines that its batteries don’t have enough charge. It will again put itself back to sleep,” NASA officials said. “Due to an extreme amount of dust over Perseverance Valley, mission engineers believe it is unlikely the rover has enough sunlight to charge back up for at least the next several days.”

Opportunity rover regenerating power by itself

On May 30 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter the dust storm observed, and it has been growing ever since. NASA has continued to track the storm from orbit and the surface. In addition to Opportunity, the Mars rover Curiosity is monitoring dust levels from the storm.

spinonews
source: space.com

Scientists think the power level in Opportunity’s batteries is below 24 volts. If the rover loses power for an extended amount of time. Meanwhile, there is a chance it won’t be able to power the heaters needed to keep its electronics alive.

However, NASA to conduct a teleconference today at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) to discuss the Martian dust storm. Its impact on Opportunity and how scientists are tracking it with spacecraft in orbit.