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Thread: Opportunity rover threatened by record Martian dust storm

  1. #1

    Opportunity rover threatened by record Martian dust storm

    Accordingly to Scott Manley:

    The darkest dust storm ever recorded on Mars has cut off power to the Opportunity rover. Scientists have described the conditions as if Day has become night, with only 0.0002% of sunlight reaching the surface, insufficient to keep the Opportunity rover running.


    Fingers crossed for "the little rover that could".

  2. #2
    To be honest, I don't think Martian dust storms are all that bad. I mean, we usually tend to imagine something like our sandstorm here on Earth, but it's not nearly as dramatic.

    Don't forget Mars has 100% less dense atmosphere. 100km/h wind there would feel like a 10km/h breeze here. It can raise dust from the ground because of the low gravity, yes, but it hardly can do any damage with it.

    The only real problem it can cause is that it blocks the sun and makes the solar panels dirty. That COULD be a problem, of course, but don't imagine a rover being rocked and swept by the winds.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Chris Simon View Post (Source)
    To be honest, I don't think Martian dust storms are all that bad. I mean, we usually tend to imagine something like our sandstorm here on Earth, but it's not nearly as dramatic.

    Don't forget Mars has 100% less dense atmosphere. 100km/h wind there would feel like a 10km/h breeze here. It can raise dust from the ground because of the low gravity, yes, but it hardly can do any damage with it.

    The only real problem it can cause is that it blocks the sun and makes the solar panels dirty. That COULD be a problem, of course, but don't imagine a rover being rocked and swept by the winds.
    Agreed. Scott goes into it in some detail but the problem is, as he says, not storm damage but rather

    only 0.0002% of sunlight reaching the surface, insufficient to keep the Opportunity rover running.
    He reckons that equates to something like 2 milliwatts available to the rover - could be a big problem. Whatever, it's gone into self-preservation emergency shutdown and I guess we'll see when, ahem, the dust clears.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Jonny Shiloh View Post (Source)
    Agreed. Scott goes into it in some detail but the problem is, as he says, not storm damage but rather



    He reckons that equates to something like 2 milliwatts available to the rover - could be a big problem. Whatever, it's gone into self-preservation emergency shutdown and I guess we'll see when, ahem, the dust clears.
    Hahah, right. That's what I get for not watching the video first.

  5. #5
    ‘Cleaning events’

    Flimley

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by Chris Simon View Post (Source)
    Hahah, right. That's what I get for not watching the video first.
    I was trying to point that out in the politest way possible...