Massive Dust Storm Engulfs Mars


Washington, Jun 21 (Prensa Latina) The dust storm on Mars intensified to an extreme degree has become a global event, today reported the National Administration of Aeronautics and Space of the United States (NASA). This proves the intensity of the storms in mars, and Curiosity seems good enough to quench ours, to carry out further investigations, as NASA says.

For the past 14 years, Dr. Crumpler has been working with the Opportunity rover, making new discoveries and even naming parts of Mars after New Mexican areas.

The rover is on the red planet studying Martian soil at the Gale Crater.

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The dust storm battering Opportunity is now a global storm, NASA reports. The rover has not been in contact with the agency for almost 10 days, which has led mission controllers to think that the charge in its batteries has dipped below 24 volts and it has entered a low power fault mode - a sleep sort of mode wherein all the subsystem except mission clock stop working. The robot rover has gone to sleep because its solar panels are unable to provide or recharge its batteries. All science operations by the rover are suspended while it waits out the storm. Once it was clear the storm would impact Opportunity, the rover was ordered into a sort of survival mode. A series of photos by Opportunity before it went silent show the Martian sky darkening until the sun itself disappears from view.

"Martian haze, all around". The last tau measurements in its current location indicated values of close to 11, NASA said in the news release. The 2018 storm is however slightly bigger than that and definitely much bigger than the ones observed by Mariner 9 in 1971-1972 and Mars Global Surveyor in 2001.

In a press conference last week, NASA officials said they expect Opportunity will survive the dust storm.

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In the meantime, Martian cold has also been a cause for concern for Opportunity, now in its 15th year on the planet. But it's nearly Martian summer at Opportunity's location, and temperatures are not expected to dip below the danger level, NASA officials have said.

NASA scientists are maintaining a full-court press on the Martian dust storm. This is the highest tau ever recorded in the history of NASA's Curiosity rover. The European Space Agency also has two spacecraft in orbit (Mars Express and the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter). NASA and its worldwide partners - Europe and India - have the largest fleet of spacecraft at Mars in history, enabling the collection of a wide array of measurements. As of Tuesday morning, NASA confirmed that the Martian dust storm has now grown in size and is now officially a "planet-encircling" dust event.

For the unknown, NASA Curiosity probe is on the other side of Mars while the Opportunity rover is stuck on the opposite side of the Red Planet while the dust has steadily increased over it, NASA said in a statement.

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