NASA Mars rover weathers monster dust storm

CNET | 6/10/2018 | Amanda Kooser
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This global map of Mars shows the dust storm sweeping across the landscape. The blue dot near the center shows Opportunity's location.

It's hard to complain about Earth weather once you realize just how crazy it can get on Mars.

Dust - Storm - Continent - North - America

A dust storm larger than the continent of North America is currently plaguing the Red Planet. NASA announced on Friday the suspension of science operations for the Opportunity rover while it waits for the storm to blow over.

NASA released a global map of Mars captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on June 6. It shows the growing dust storm and a blue dot indicating the rover's approximate location.

Mars - Reconnaissance - Orbiter - Storm - Building

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter first noticed the storm building back on June 1. The MRO team warned the Opportunity team to get ready for the blast. The storm quickly grew to cover over 7 million square miles (18 million square kilometers) and swept across Perseverance Valley where Opportunity is located.

The swirling dust is impacting Opportunity's solar panels, which it uses to recharge its batteries and power the heaters that allow the rover to function in the extreme cold conditions of Mars. NASA says the dust...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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