Remember your NASA & # 39; s longest-living robot on Mars? It is possible It could be dying

Mars, the red planet on which people have long explored an alternative life, has experienced an intense dust storm since June this year. The storm is so strong that the surface of a microscope looks blurry.

NASA & # 39; s valued possession, Opportunity robotic rover has been active on Mars since 2004. It is the longest lived robot in the world. Although the vehicle should have lasted only three months, it is now 15 years old.

The Opportunity rover of NASA searches the country and continually investigates and analyzes the environment. However, it fell asleep on the track on June 10 due to a huge dust storm. The opportunity has not been possible to call home and it is two months since the robot was in a coma.

Mars, NASA, Opportunity

Photo: BI / How Mars looked before (left) and after the dust storm (right)

Notorious for its dust storms, these rusty red orbits often cover Mars once every few years. However, NASA believes that this is "one of the most intense" global dust storms ever recorded, according to Business Insider.

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    MER Principal Investigator Steve Squyres of Cornell University told The MER Update: "I do not know what else to say than this is the worst storm Opportunity has ever seen, and we do what we can, cross our fingers and hope for best."

    Why is the opportunity at risk? Here are some of the possible reasons

    1)The dust storm has thrown the planet into a constant state of darkness. The weather in Mars has therefore blocked the light for the bad chance that runs on solar panels. As a result, the ability to store and recharge itself with electrical energy has been lost.

    2) The climate of Mars has aroused curiosity among scientists for decades. It can be very hot and corrosive at the same time. On Mars the winter temperatures can drop to minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit near the equator. Such cold weather can cause pieces of metal to shrink and break in electronic circuits.

    3) Plutonium -238 nuclear knobs help keep the Opportunity circuit warm, but it is not only a good lapse, but also a short-term solution. That's why the robot still needs electricity to charge itself, run hot water boilers and contact NASA mission at home.


    4) Excessive drainage of the batteries is another problem. The longer they are inactive, the more electrical storage capacity they lose. If the Opportunity solar panels do not remove themselves from the dust, the batteries can be put under tension.

    If the dust storm does not decrease, it will be difficult for the robot to recover from different error modes & # 39; and Opportunity will become a member of & # 39; Spirit & # 39 ;, an identical sister robber who stopped talking to NASA in March 2010. during a Martian winter.

    Storm path

    NASA / JPL-Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) /This series of images, made with images processed by the MARCI crew of Mars Color on Malin Space Science Systems, shows simulated representations of the path of the epic dust storm.

    Light at the end of the tunnel

    The good news is that the storm is weakened and is in its decline phase. According to BI, NASA said that the batteries on that occasion were in a relatively good condition before the storm occurred, so there probably will not be too much deterioration. Dust storms also tend to warm up the environment so that it will help against the cold of the circuit.

    However, it can take a long time before the airspace is clear enough so that Opportunity can rejuvenate its batteries. Although the six-wheeled robot is seriously threatened, scientists are optimistic about the rover.

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