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Wed Feb 13, 2019, 04:52 AM

NASA about to pull plug on Mars rover, silent for 8 months


Don't get the wrong idea, this was a huge success. This rover was designed to last 3 months, but it has been operating for 15 years ...

NASA about to pull plug on Mars rover, silent for 8 months

NASA is trying one last time to contact its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity, before calling it quits.


https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nasa-mars-rover-silent-months.html





The rover has been silent for eight months, victim of one of the most intense dust storms in decades. Thick dust darkened the sky last summer and, for months, blocked sunlight from the spacecraft's solar panels.

NASA said Tuesday it will issue a final series of recovery commands, on top of more than 1,000 already sent. If there's no response by Wednesday—which NASA suspects will be the case—Opportunity will be declared dead, 15 years after arriving at the red planet.

Team members are already looking back at Opportunity's achievements, including confirmation water once flowed on Mars. Opportunity was, by far, the longest-lasting lander on Mars. Besides endurance, the six-wheeled rover set a roaming record of 28 miles (45 kilometers.)

Its identical twin, Spirit, was pronounced dead in 2011, a year after it got stuck in sand and communication ceased. Both outlived and outperformed expectations, on opposite sides of Mars. The golf cart-size rovers were designed to operate as geologists for just three months, after bouncing onto our planetary neighbor inside cushioning air bags in January 2004. They rocketed from Cape Canaveral a month apart in 2003.

More on the link-
https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nasa-mars-rover-silent-months.html


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Reply NASA about to pull plug on Mars rover, silent for 8 months (Original post)
KelleyKramer Wednesday OP
Rhiannon12866 Wednesday #1
KelleyKramer Wednesday #2
Rhiannon12866 Wednesday #3
rogue emissary Wednesday #7
underpants Wednesday #4
Princess Turandot Wednesday #5
Javaman Wednesday #6
SCantiGOP Thursday #9
Angleae Wednesday #8

Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 05:03 AM

1. No! I've been rooting for him!

He reminds me of WALL-E!

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 05:26 AM

2. Ha ha! Too funny!


I had to look that up ...

WALL-E, short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, is the last robot left on Earth. He spends his days tidying up the planet, one piece of garbage at a time.


I know a certain board on DU where we could use his help!




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Response to KelleyKramer (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 05:31 AM

3. I can, too! LOL!

And WALL-E was adorable and lovable - I think of the amazing Mars Rover the same way.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 03:56 PM

7. +1

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 05:56 AM

4. Heard this on NPR yesterday. One last try to contact this morning at 11 am.

A 90 day mission that lasted 15 years. Amazing.

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 06:52 AM

5. Sunset on Mars: a favorite image from the MER mission..

This was captured by Spirit in 2005:




On May 19, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This Panoramic Camera mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover's 489th Martian day, or sol.

Sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds. Other images have shown that the twilight glow remains visible, but increasingly fainter, for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. The long Martian twilight (compared to Earth's) is caused by sunlight scattered around to the night side of the planet by abundant high altitude dust. Similar long twilights or extra-colorful sunrises and sunsets sometimes occur on Earth when tiny dust grains that are erupted from powerful volcanoes scatter light high in the atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 11:34 AM

6. I hope at some point in the future...

there will be a monument build around the little rover.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2019, 11:58 AM

9. NBC News story last night

Had a nice idea: that one day we would retrieve the Rover from Mars, bring it back to Earth and it could be displayed like the space shuttles and Moon lander.

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Response to KelleyKramer (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2019, 10:44 PM

8. All according to plan

Opportunity's plan that is.

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