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Martian dust storm affecting rovers


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#1    Owlscrying

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:14 AM

July 4
Pasadena, Cali. - A powerful dust storm on Mars has worsened and is affecting two roving robots' operations on the Red Planet, mission scientists said.

The storm, which has been brewing for a week, has partially blocked the sun. The rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, rely on sunlight to charge their batteries.

The regional storm is the worst to hit the rovers since they landed on opposite ends of Mars in 2004 and scientists expect the storm to last for at least another week.

"The storm is affecting both rovers and reducing the power levels on Opportunity," project manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement posted on the space agency's website.

Opportunity scaled back operations June 30 to conserve energy.  
  
The storm has already delayed Opportunity's descent into Victoria Crater to learn more about the planet's geological past. Scientists hoped to send the rover into the crater this weekend but weather has pushed the entry back until at least July 13.
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#2    Sun Raven

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 02:51 PM

Well this was already predicted, and now it happened... it is true that the rovers are especially designed for Mars but they are not perfect since human created them.

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#3    ROGER

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 07:52 PM

I wonder if they program timed movements to keep the rovers on top of the sand. To let them sit for to long may bury them to the piont they are unable to move.

We pray for one last landing/ On the planet that gave us birth/ Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies/ And the cool, green hills of Earth.
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