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Old 06-27-2018, 05:01 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Mars dust storm 13Jun2018

Quote:
But now, Opportunity is facing a severe setback. The rover is currently hunkered down in Mars's Perseverance Valley, trying to wait out one of the most intense dust storms ever observed on the red planet.
I will be interested to see how they manage to make the rover solar panels clean again. Maybe one of those "Cleaning Events" NASA are so fond of telling us about.

Quote:
“We should be able to ride the storm out,” John Callas, the project manager for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, said at a NASA press conference on Wednesday. “We're concerned, but we're hopeful that the storm will clear and the rover will communicate to us.”

Since the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the storm on May 30, the tempest has kicked up enough dust to cover a quarter of Mars's surface. A U.S-size portion of this area is now choked with so much dust, martian days resemble twilights—or worse.
Perhaps they have decided to allow Opportunity to go the way of Spirit and perhaps it has become too inconvenient for it to continue. We will see whether this event marks the end of MER Opportunity which has been going for almost 15 years.

Quote:
Cantor adds that the storm will grow more severe in the next few days and probably will spawn Mars's first global dust cloud since 2007. At their most intense, these clouds can block more than 99 percent of incoming sunlight.
On that page, why do they have to show us pictures of a simulated dust storm when the MERs have been on Mars since 2004. They take images of the sun almost every day, so we could have actual images of the previous large dust storm in 2007.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:21 PM
 
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Martian dust is going to be a severe nuisance to any astronauts involved in a mission to Mars. Because Mars' atmosphere is so thin, the stuff is less like conventional dust and more like tobacco smoke, very thin but it gets everywhere. Keeping instruments clean is going to be an almost full-time job.

Hopefully, Opportunity will still have some life left in it on the other side. Time will tell.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:28 PM
 
Location: PRC
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Quote:
Keeping instruments clean is going to be an almost full-time job.
Ahhh - but you forget the famous "Cleaning Events" which happen at opportune moments to keep things working on the new and shiny mechanical things sent from Earth.

Quote:
Hopefully, Opportunity will still have some life left in it on the other side. Time will tell.
No, I just dont buy it. All the evidence is that NASA are pulling our chains. There has already been a massive dust storm in 2007 and that did not affect the rovers at that time (apart from dust on the top surface of the rovers and which was subject to a subsequent "Cleaning Event"). I wonder why not? Maybe they managed to hide in a cave or under a tree to get out of the wind. The solar panels were miraculously cleaned and on we went with our "investigation" of Mars.

I know I keep on about this, but it IS strange how such a large dust storm event in 2007 left the rovers unscathed and operational. Yet, there was no evidence in the images taken afterwards of the terrain all around the rovers. Must be those amazing NASA scientists with their mops and brushes. Anyway, we will see what they want us to believe after this one.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:12 AM
 
2,960 posts, read 1,127,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Ahhh - but you forget the famous "Cleaning Events" which happen at opportune moments to keep things working on the new and shiny mechanical things sent from Earth.

No, I just dont buy it. All the evidence is that NASA are pulling our chains. There has already been a massive dust storm in 2007 and that did not affect the rovers at that time (apart from dust on the top surface of the rovers and which was subject to a subsequent "Cleaning Event"). I wonder why not? Maybe they managed to hide in a cave or under a tree to get out of the wind. The solar panels were miraculously cleaned and on we went with our "investigation" of Mars.

I know I keep on about this, but it IS strange how such a large dust storm event in 2007 left the rovers unscathed and operational. Yet, there was no evidence in the images taken afterwards of the terrain all around the rovers. Must be those amazing NASA scientists with their mops and brushes. Anyway, we will see what they want us to believe after this one.
What are you suggesting?
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Old 07-09-2018, 01:46 AM
 
Location: PRC
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I think it is obvious what I am suggesting.

OK, so here is an 'event' at the end of the first year of Opportunity's travels bringing the power output back up to the original planned delivery of 900Wh. My bold text in the quote below.

New Scientist
Quote:
NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity seems to have stumbled into something akin to a carwash that has left its solar panels much cleaner than those of its twin rover, Spirit. A Martian carwash would account for a series of unexpected boosts in the electrical power produced by Opportunity’s solar panels.

The rovers landed on Mars in January 2004 with solar cells capable of providing more than 900 watt-hours of electricity per day. Spirit’s output has dropped to about 400 watt-hours, partly because Martian dust has caked its solar panels.

Opportunity’s output also declined at first – to around 500 watt-hours – but over the past six months it has regained power (New Scientist print edition, 30 October). Lately, its solar cells have been delivering just over 900 watt-hours.
Article
Quote:
The deck of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was so dusty that it almost blended into the dusty background in this image assembled from frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) during the period from sol 1,355 through sol 1,358 (Oct. 26-29, 2007).
Rover self (dusty) portrait image
Quote:
The dust factor - the percentage of light penetrating dust on Spirit's solar arrays - has remained steady. Only 32 percent of the sunlight reaching the arrays penetrates the dust to generate electricity.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:11 AM
 
Location: PRC
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The Planetary Society Unmannedspaceflight.com forum post on the dust storm extends currently to 11 pages and contains some very interesting updates and background information from experienced scientists.
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