Marcia Dunn AP Aerospace Writer Published 2:52 PM EST Feb 13, 2019 Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA’s Opportunity, the Mars rover that was built to operate for just three months but kept going and going, was pronounced dead Wednesday, 15 years after it landed on the red planet. The six-wheeled vehicle that helped gather critical evidence that ancient Mars might have been hospitable to life was remarkably spry up until eight months ago, when it was finally doomed by a ferocious dust storm. Flight controllers tried numerous times to make contact and sent one final series of recovery commands Tuesday night along with one last wake-up song, Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You.” There was no response from space, only silence. Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science missions, broke the news to members of the Opportunity team at what amounted to a wake at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, announcing the … [Read more...] about NASA Mars rover finally bites the dust after 15 years
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Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Science Subscribe Log In Log In Today’s Paper Science | NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Concludes a 15-Year Mission Supported by Silent since a giant dust storm last summer, the rover was the longest-lasting robot on another planet ever. ByKenneth Chang Feb. 13, 2019 The longest-lived robot ever sent from Earth to the surface of another planet, Opportunity snapped pictures of a strange landscape and revealed surprising glimpses into the distant past of Mars for over 14 years. But on Wednesday, NASA announced that the rover is dead. “It is therefore that I am standing here with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude that I declare the Opportunity mission is complete,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science. For the scientists, that ends a mission of unexpected endurance. The rover was designed to last only … [Read more...] about NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Concludes a 15-Year Mission
by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer This composite image from Aug. 9, 2018 photos made available by NASA shows the Curiosity rover at Vera Rubin Ridge on Mars. A thin layer of dust is visible on the nuclear-powered rover, the result of a storm that enveloped the planet this summer. The darkish sky is from dust still in the atmosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via AP) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped a dusty but cool selfie. NASA released the panorama this week. A thin layer of dust is visible on Curiosity, the result of a storm that enveloped Mars this summer. The darkish sky indicates dust still clogging the atmosphere in August, when the panorama was shot by Curiosity's mast camera. The rover had just drilled for a new rock sample. Curiosity is nuclear-powered and therefore unaffected by the lack of sunlight. NASA's older rover Opportunity, however, relies on solar power and has been silent since June. Flight controllers hope as the … [Read more...] about Planetary pic: NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity snaps dusty selfie
Tech & Science Opportunity, a Mars robotic rover, was shaken up by a recent dust storm—and now Earth has lost touch with it. NASA sent Opportunity to Mars in 2003, hoping it would help in the quest to find water on the red planet. But a dust storm in early June blocked the rover’s ability to contact Earth. The storm covered more than 14 million square miles of Mars, which represents a fourth of the planet and an area larger than the African continent. "Full dust storms like this one are not surprising but are infrequent," NASA officials said in a statement. "They can crop up suddenly but last weeks, even months." Opportunity runs on solar power, so when large clouds of dust block its view of the sun, it can’t do what it’s supposed to or contact NASA back on Earth. This isn’t the first time Opportunity has faced such a challenge. When an even bigger dust storm hit the planet in 2007, Opportunity went into standby mode and … [Read more...] about NASA’s Mars Rover Still Not Talking to Earth
Tech & Science Mars Curiosity Mars rover NASA Earlier this month, NASA reported an enormous dust storm larger than North America had forced the agency to switch off most of its Opportunity rover's functions. Now, that storm has swelled, engulfing the entire planet in what the agency calls a "planet-encircling" dust event. Attempts to make contact with Opportunity over the past few days have failed, and the future of the rover seems uncertain. NASA's Curiosity rover captures an intensifying dust storm that has now engulfed the Red Planet. NASA NASA’s Curiosity rover—which is trundling along the other side of the sandy planet—has captured apocalyptic-looking scenes of a thickening butterscotch haze blotting out the sky. These scenes could spell real trouble for Opportunity, which is swaddled in a blanket of darkness in Mars’ Perseverance Valley. Dust is currently blocking out the craft’s main source of power: sunlight. … [Read more...] about Can NASA’s Mars Rovers Survive Planet-Engulfing Dust Storm?