قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Science / Mars Rover threatened by unprecedented storm

Mars Rover threatened by unprecedented storm



Washington, June 14 (IANS) An unprecedented sandstorm on Mars threatens the survival of NASA's solar-powered Rover Opportunity announced by the US Department of Space.
"We are worried, but we are confident that the storm will clear and the Rover will be able to communicate with us," Opportunity Project Manager John Callas said late Wednesday night.
Since the storm began on May 30 at the point where the rover is parked, the rover has lost its main source of energy, sunlight.
The opportunity is currently embedded in what NASA calls a "dark, eternal night".
According to NASA, Opportunity seems to have automatically entered a power-saving mode in which most features are locked.
Nevertheless, the rover must maintain the temperature of its batteries to survive on the icy Mars.
"As long as the rover stays warm enough and our predictions are that way, we can travel any number of days," Callas said, adding that summer is approaching on Mars and temperatures will rise.
The storm has already affected a quarter of the surface of Mars, the size of the entire American continent, and could surround the planet in a few days, as it did in 2001
and 2007.
"It's unprecedented in the speed at which it has grown and spread across the globe," said Jim Watzin, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, at the same conference.
The scientists do not know when the storm will break out and the rover can generate new solar energy if its systems are not affected.
Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and made discoveries about the past of the Red Planet.
For example, it was found that at least part of Mars had the necessary moisture conditions for mesophilic bacteria four billion years ago and that the planet used to have an acidic environment.
-IANS


Source link