NASA Mars Rover Silent Beneath Raging Dust Storm

Opportunity underneath dust encircling entire planet

Image Credits: NASA/JPL/Cornell University, Maas Digital LLC / Wikimedia Commons.

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover remains silent as a giant dust storm continues to swirl on the Red Planet.

The storm began on May 30 and grew to encircle the entire planet a few weeks later. With so much dust in the air, the solar-powered Opportunity hasn’t been able to recharge its batteries and has entered a sort of hibernation.

“We have not heard from the rover for a couple of weeks,” said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in Saint Louis. Arvidson is deputy principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission, which originally consisted of Opportunity and its twin, Spirit. The duo touched down in different locations on Mars a few weeks apart in January 2004.

Read more