Opportunity Rover Is Stuck in a 'Dark, Perpetual Night'

Opportunity rover

Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been delivering science from the surface of the Red Planet for over 14 years now - an wonderful accomplishment for a robot that was only intended for an initial 90 day mission. Assuming Opportunity rides out this storm, its photovoltaic panels are still producing power (and were somewhat oversized to start with), and it's got what Callas referred to as "the finest batteries in the Solar System", which are capable of holding 85 percent of their original capacity after all these years.

If the rover's power dips even lower than it is now, it's possible that Opportunity's clock could turn off, meaning that NASA will need to remain vigilant to listen for any pings from the rover that would come at somewhat random intervals if it's able to come back online, Callas said.

"If the rover's computer determines that its batteries don't have enough charge, it will again put itself back to sleep", NASA officials said.

Viking 1 images of the 1977 Mars dust storm.

Nasa wrote: "The storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the Red Planet".

That storm, which covered as much area as North America and Russian Federation combined as of today (June 12), has engulfed the golf-cart-size Opportunity rover, plunging its environs into perpetual darkness. NASA says the battery is likely so low that only a clock is still working, to wake the spacecraft for periodic power-level checks. On Wednesday, NASA held a press conference to describe what was going on and explain why its scientists and engineers are optimistic that we'll hear more from the rover once the storm clears up. One of the principal objectives of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, one of three US satellites tasked with analyzing the planet, is to enhance our understanding of Martian meteorology.

NCAA Rule Change Will Prohibit Schools from Blocking Student-Athlete Transfers
Applications for the rule to be applied to other Division I sports is now being looked at by the council. If another school tampers with student-athlete, it could be a Level 2 violation.

Microsoft's Office UI update includes a simpler, cleaner ribbon
For everyone else, Microsoft is moving forward cautiously, especially when it comes to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. Essentially, this ensures that icons have smooth lines and render correctly regardless of the display you view them on.

Uber is working on AI to identify drunk passengers
Knowing whether a passenger is behaving unusually can help mitigate any issues before they become problems. Users that are drunk may also be presented with an alternative, easy-to-use version of the app.

The mission clock will trigger the computer to turn back on to check power levels sporadically, NASA said. Opportunity's twin, Spirit, which also touched down on the Red Planet in January 2004, apparently froze to death after getting stuck in thick sand in 2010. "When the skies clear and the rover begins to power up, it should begin to communicate with us".

Day has turned to night for NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars.

Both landers were built to last at least three months in the harsh environment of Mars and while mission managers were hopeful they would exceed their design life, there were no guarantees.

NASA says a global dust storm is forming.

It's had its share of problems over the years - its flash memory no longer works, two instruments have failed and problems with its two front wheels have forced it to drive backwards most of the time - but the hardy robot has continued to collect valuable science, setting new records with every sol. "The same swirling dust that blocks out sunlight also absorbs heat, raising the ambient temperature surrounding Opportunity". Such storms last for weeks, sometimes months, but stop when the air temperatures equalize. They occur during summer in the southern hemisphere, when sunlight warms dust particles and lifts them higher into the atmosphere, creating more wind. "That wind kicks up yet more dust, creating a feedback loop that NASA scientists still seek to understand".

Related:

  • Farrah Abraham arrested at Beverly Hills Hotel

    Farrah Abraham arrested at Beverly Hills Hotel

    And not in the way she usually gets physical... but by violently lashing out! "No I'm not. HollywoodLife will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
    Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018

    Spain manager Lopetegui sacked a day before World Cup 2018

    Europe 1: Lopetegui , sacked. "This is not the best solution but in life you can not escape your responsibilities", said Rubiales. The World Cup kicks off on Thursday when host nation Russian Federation plays Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
    Africa's iconic baobab trees are dying at an alarming rate

    Africa's iconic baobab trees are dying at an alarming rate

    The oldest tree to suffer the collapse of all its stems was the Panke tree in Zimbabwe‚ estimated to have existed for 2‚500 years. The common theory, Baum said, is that as the tree slowly grows around these scars, they can become large hollows.
  • Missing Types Campaign to raise awareness for donating life-saving blood

    Missing Types Campaign to raise awareness for donating life-saving blood

    In fact, for the past four years, new Red Cross donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. By joining the #MissingType movement, donors can find out their blood type this summer.
    Meghan Markle Officially Joins Royal Foundation Alongside Harry, William and Kate

    Meghan Markle Officially Joins Royal Foundation Alongside Harry, William and Kate

    While at the ceremony, Meghan could be seen standing on the balcony with the rest of the family. A palace source says Meghan's balcony position "would have come from her ".
    Fed interest rate: Federal Reserve hikes interest rate another quarter point today

    Fed interest rate: Federal Reserve hikes interest rate another quarter point today

    Fed says setting ioer rate 5 basis points below top of target range for funds rate aims to keep market rates well within range. Previously, the statement made separate references to survey-based and market-based measures of such expectations.
  • Robert De Niro Says 'Fk Trump' at Tony Awards, Earning Massive Ovation

    Robert De Niro Says 'Fk Trump' at Tony Awards, Earning Massive Ovation

    Echoing Trump's sentiments, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also spoke harshly about Trudeau on Fox News over the weekend. In a press conference, Trudeau called US steel and aluminum tariffs unjust and promised retaliatory tariffs.

    Half of Americans approve of Trump's handling of North Korea after summit

    Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is also heading to Seoul and is due to meet with Mr Pompeo and his South Korean counterpart. Trump phoned South Korean President Moon Jae-in after leaving Singapore to brief him on the discussions.
    Former Panama President Martinelli extradited from US

    Former Panama President Martinelli extradited from US

    They did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and their court filings were not publicly available at press time. State Department had approved his request to extradite his predecessor.
  • USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 FIFA World Cup

    Cordeiro, who was elected USSF president in February, said he anticipates those guidelines will remain in place in 2026. Canada, Mexico and the US are home to a combined 491 million people and two of the world's biggest media markets.
    Net neutrality rules officially repealed in US

    Net neutrality rules officially repealed in US

    Under the old policy, any blocking or slowing of websites would directly run afoul of the rules, inviting immediate enforcement. But late in the Obama administration, the FCC opened up an inquiry to see if they violated the general conduct provisions.
    North Korean Denuclearisation To Start After Document Is Signed

    North Korean Denuclearisation To Start After Document Is Signed

    Independent experts say the North could have enough fissile material for anywhere between about a dozen and 60 nuclear bombs. In 2012, North Korea agreed to suspend nuclear tests in exchange for food aid, then reversed course two weeks later.

Comments

Latest news

Shy teen earns Golden Buzzer with soulful performance on ‘America’s Got Talent’
The difference in 13-year-old Courtney Haldwin when she is singing from her everyday self has to be seen to be believed. All four judges gave Sophie the thumbs-up to move on to the next round of the competition.

Paul raccoon safely trapped on tower roof
A raccoon scaling the side of a skyscraper Tuesday has people all across the country watching its every move with bated breath. The raccoon's adventures inspired a lot of commentary on social media , from concerns about its safety to jokes.

Trump says North Korea 'no longer a nuclear threat'
He said North Korea is likely to consider Trump's decision a temporary measure while it remains in negotiations with Washington. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis's chief spokeswoman, Dana W White, told reporters he was "in full alignment" with Mr Trump.

Judge clears AT&T takeover of Time Warner
The DOJ moved to block the merger in March, arguing that the merger would reduce competition and hurt consumer choice. Updated 2:18 pm PT: This story was updated with comments from AT&T and the Justice Department.

This Is How the Warriors Won the 2018 NBA Championship
This series has been a painful reminder to James that the great teams have more than one king. Should he go that route, James could sign with a team in early July.

First official screenshots for Cyberpunk 2077 released
Story-driven and action-packed, Cyberpunk 2077's cinematic plot was written to provide a rich and robust single-player experience. There'll be "dozens of hours of main story arc quests", as well as additional activities, with an interactive dialogue system.

Eid Al Fitr 2018 holiday for Dubai schools announced
Saudi Arabia's King Salman also issued a directive last Tuesday to extend this year's Eid Al Fitr holiday . The holy month of Ramadan or Ramzan, observed by the Muslims across the world, is coming to an end.

Michael Cohen reportedly separating with his lawyers in federal case
The unnamed source who spoke to the NYDN characterized Cohen as "very stressed out" about the possibility of an indictment. Cohen sued April 13 to try to block prosecutors from looking at communications protected by attorney-client privilege.

Canadian lawmakers unanimously accuse U.S. of attacking Trudeau
Trump's renewed comments on trade come amid a growing dispute between Washington and its top allies. And going after Justin Trudeau once again tweeting "Justin acts hurt when called out".

Everyone gets free Taco Bell today
Visit any Taco Bell between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday and ask for a free Doritos Locos Taco. Taco Bell's " Steal a Game, Steal a Taco " promotion has paid off for you in a big way.

Enormous dust storm on red planet forcefully ceases activities of NASA’s Opportunity
The small blue dot in the below image of the storm (click to enlarge) indicates Opportunity's location in Perseverance Valley. The space agency says the current storm has an opacity level of 10.8, and that 2007's severe dust storm had a 5.5.

Spanish port to accept 629 stranded migrants snubbed by Italy
The rescue service says its patrol craft intercepted six different boats carrying migrants that had left from African shores throughout Saturday.

‘Three Californias’ Measure Will Be on November Ballot
Draper made a similar attempt to divide California into six states in 2014 and failed to gather enough signatures. Each state, though different in size, would have roughly the same population, according to the proposal.

Added Sugar Consumption In Toddlers Is On The Rise In The US
But they do suggest adults avoid exceeding more than 12 teaspoons of added sugar each day, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. The parents of the study participants were asked to note down everything their child ate in a 24-hour period.

Awaiting sentencing, Fyre Festival promoter arrested again
The festival's founder, Billy McFarland , didn't get away with whatever scam he tried to pulll scot-free. He also said one of McFarland's colleagues, cooperating with prosecutors, was framing him.

Other news