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Curiosity braces for possible storm hit


Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2012 | Comment icon 6 comments


Image credit: NASA

 
A growing dust storm on the Red Planet could pose a risk to NASA's two active Mars rovers.

Unlike storms on Earth, dust storms on Mars can grow so large that they encompass the whole planet. Scientists are keen to examine the data returned from the rovers and orbiter as there are many things about Martian dust storms that are not yet understood, including why some of them tend to die back down while others continue to grow. It is believed that both of NASA's rovers could be hit by the storm if it continues to increase in size and it isn't clear what affect this will have.

"This is now a regional dust storm," said chief Mars scientist Rich Zurek. "It has covered a fairly extensive region with its dust haze and it is in a part of the planet were some regional storms have grown into global dust hazes."

"NASA says a massive martian dust storm may hit its Curiosity rover, raising questions about how the one-ton rover will fare."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Space Reporter

  Discuss: View comments (6)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin on 26 November, 2012, 10:58
Hope Curiosity comes out OK.
Comment icon #2 Posted by shaddow134 on 26 November, 2012, 16:04
Is curiosity stable enough to stand up to extreme weather events on Mars?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Wickian on 26 November, 2012, 20:22
I really don't see them spending the money to build and launch this thing to Mars and not have designed with the intention to survive extreme dust storms.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew on 26 November, 2012, 22:05
It seems hard to believe that given the thinness of Mars's atmosphere that storms could be dangerous, at least in terms of wind force. I could however see the storms picking up ultra-fine dust which could endanger the machinery of the rover. Fine dust can get into anything with exposed moving parts. Does anyone know the MPH/KPH wind speed of Martian storms and how much force they generate compared with terrestrial weather?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Major Payne on 27 November, 2012, 2:58
Don't Panic.....There are dust covers for all of the equipment that can protect for the length of the Storm. Some of the cameras even have glass covers so they can even take pictures while the storm rages.
Comment icon #6 Posted by bison on 1 December, 2012, 19:52
In any case, the dust storm seems to be waning. http://www.webpronews.com/dust-storm-on-mars-now-dissipating-2012-11


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