NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover stays quiet as a big dust storm

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Spinonews NASA's Opportunity Mars rover

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover stays quiet as a big dust storm keeps on whirling on the Red Planet.

According to the latest space news, the storm started on May 30 and developed to encompass the whole planet a few weeks later. With such a great amount of residue noticeable all around, the solar powered Opportunity hasn’t possessed the capacity to energize its batteries and has entered a kind of hibernation.

“We have not heard from the rover for a couple of weeks,” said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in Saint Louis. Arvidson is deputy principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission, which originally consisted of Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. The duo touched down in different locations on Mars a few weeks apart in January 2004.

Dust storm has sidelined the golf-cart-size rover

Opportunity kept appropriate on rolling, long after Spirit’s demise. But, the dust storm has sidelined the golf-cart-size rover. Opportunity hasn’t sent a photograph back to Earth since June 10. Spirit has long been silent, becoming bogged down in sand late 2009. Its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010.

Opportunity is presently likely in a low-control mode, in which the rover wakes up, checks its power and, if too low, just returns back to sleep again, Arvidson revealed to Inside Outer Space.

We have been listening, but no low-gain antenna communications yet. Also, the storm proceeds in full power, Arvidson said.

The storm has gone worldwide and is still raging, said Jim Rice, Geology Team Leader for the Mars Exploration Rover Project at Arizona State University’s Mars Space Flight Facility.