Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

NASA anxious to hear from Mars rover as dust storm clears

Cary Marshall | 30 October, 2018, 20:29

And soon, the skies should clear enough for the hardy Opportunity rover to recharge its batteries. The dust storm has been on-going for sometime (around the end of May 2018), as Digital Journal's Karen Graham reported in June 2018: "A massive dust storm on Mars that covered one-fourth of the planet.has grown into a global weather event".

Continental storms on this scale are a regular occurrence on Mars and take place when the Red Planet is closest to the Sun. The good news is no dust storms are brewing within 1,900 miles of Opportunity according to MRO Project Scientist Rich Zurek.

"MARCI images of the Opportunity site have shown no active dust storms for some time within 3,000 kilometres of the rover site", Zurek said. They haven't heard from him since June 10th and they're anxious this last storm may have killed off the bot that could. That optical depth, also known as tau, is typically around 0.5 under normal conditions. Opportunity has been out of contact for some time now because of a huge dust storm. In subsequent Opportunity mission updates, JPL said that tau was decreasing, but did not give a specific figure. If 45 days have passed without a response, the team will cease its active efforts to recover the rover. On 4 August, NASA engineers played Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" to the rover, but apparently not even the campy pizazz of George Michael and company could restart it. 45 days after a Tau of 1.5. The impact of this latest storm on Opportunity's systems is unknown but could have resulted in reduced energy production, diminished battery performance, or other unforeseen damage that could make it hard for the rover to fully return online.

Let's hope we speak soon, Opportunity. Starting those efforts while tau was still as high as 1.5 is "not almost as generous as our trusty, faithful, courageous Opportunity deserves", arguing that the project should wait until tau drops to around 0.7. The original mission was created to last for just 90 days, so Opportunity has outperformed about 60 times over.

More news: Kim Kardashian Says Kanye West Is 'Harassing' Her to Have Seven Kids

To prepare, the Opportunity mission team has developed a two-step plan to provide the highest probability of successfully communicating with the rover and bringing it back online.

"The Sun is breaking through the haze over Perseverance Valley, and soon there will be enough sunlight present that Opportunity should be able to recharge its batteries", said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in (JPL).

"The 45-day active listening period was decided based on input from across the team", JPL spokesman DC Agle said August 31. "The 45-day period, which has not started yet, is meant to span the most likely time to hear from the rover; that is, when the skies clear and there is the most amount of sunlight".

Another factor, Agle said, is decreasing sunlight because of seasonal changes. However, we are continuing to listen diligently every day during our programmed fault communication windows, as well as through the Deep Space Network Radio Science Receiver. On the other hand, there is a possibility that a large amount of dust could have been deposited on our solar arrays severely reducing our solar power, so we will continue our passive listening efforts for several more months until early next year.

Recommended

Verstappen 'Happy' To Put Disappointing Saturday Behind With Mexican Victory Verstappen 'Happy' To Put Disappointing Saturday Behind With Mexican Victory I think the reason why he's won the fifth championship is that he concentrates on the job in hand and not looks too far away. Hamilton has now pulled level with Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio with the fifth F1 title win of his career.

Australians will be able to use e-passports in UK Australians will be able to use e-passports in UK Details are also checked against a range of immigration and security watch lists. Once the checks have been completed and cleared, the gate opens automatically.

Texans lose WR Fuller to torn ACL Texans lose WR Fuller to torn ACL Losing Fuller would be a huge blow to this offense as he ranks second in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The Houston Texans lost wide receiver Will Fuller for the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

UFC's Stephan Bonnar Arrested for DUI, Detained By Gun-Toting Citizens UFC's Stephan Bonnar Arrested for DUI, Detained By Gun-Toting Citizens That bout widely is regarded as the one that turned the tide for the UFC and led to its eventual rise to worldwide prominence. He fought Forrest Griffin in that season's light heavyweight final in April 2005 and lost a unanimous decision.

Man Accused Of Breaking Into Closs Home, Stealing Clothing Man Accused Of Breaking Into Closs Home, Stealing Clothing When police arrived, they noticed movement inside of the residence, the blinds open and lights on, authorities told Radar. DCI agents helped set up a perimeter around the house, and soon detained the suspect, identified as Jaenke-Annis.

Apple's new iPad Pro aims to keep enterprise momentum Apple's new iPad Pro aims to keep enterprise momentum The iPad Pro-a quasi laptop experience for some-is about keeping enterprises interested in the ecosystem. Apple iPhone's hardware upgrades have always been faster in comparison to Apple iPad or Mac.

Live To Showcase Smash, Pokémon, Yoshi's Crafted World And Diablo After Direct At least some of those questions may be answered this week, with a new Nintendo Direct revolving around the game. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee! is celebrating Halloween with a spooky tribute to your favorite spooky city.

Mary Lou Retton & Shannon Kelley Split After 27 Years Mary Lou Retton & Shannon Kelley Split After 27 Years ET's Katie Krause spoke with Retton right after her elimination where she remained positive about the future. "The whole message of Mulan , it's about loving yourself.

Arsenal on alert as Barcelona tell Ousmane Dembele that he can leave Arsenal on alert as Barcelona tell Ousmane Dembele that he can leave But despite being used a substitute, the youngster has shown flashes of brilliance in the limited game time handed to him. However, according to radio station RAC1, the Catalan club have seen enough and are ready to cut their losses.

NYC reports first pediatric flu death of season NYC reports first pediatric flu death of season The CDC reports that more than 900,000 flu-related hospitalizations occurred and more than 80,000 people died as a result of flu. The flu vaccine is especially important in light of the severe season experienced previous year across the U.S.

Apple launches new MacBook Air Apple launches new MacBook Air It is priced at $1,199 (roughly Rs. 88,200), and goes up for pre-orders in the U.S. today, with availability from November 7. You get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, through which you can connect a 5K display or even an eGPU if you so wish.

Trump, Obama Head To Florida To Rally Voters Before Nov. 6 Elections Trump, Obama Head To Florida To Rally Voters Before Nov. 6 Elections The Democratic Party said details about the event, including timing and admission availability, would be released later. That includes rallies scheduled this week in Missouri and West Virginia , which also have closely watched U.S.

Dogs as man’s best friend take center stage in new Netflix series Dogs as man’s best friend take center stage in new Netflix series One episode tells the story of Ayham, a man who left Syria for a new life in Germany, however, his dog Zeus had to stay behind. From Italy, to Costa Rica to NY City, the series will tell incredible stories about man's best friend.

Erasmus explains non-selection of Mostert Erasmus explains non-selection of Mostert The England-based Faf de Klerk will miss the Test at Twickenham because it falls outside of the global Test window. But there are some positive spinoffs - not just financially - like getting another Test before the World Cup.

There's a Weird Cloud Hanging Around a Dormant Volcano on Mars There's a Weird Cloud Hanging Around a Dormant Volcano on Mars The researchers have observed a mysterious cloud which is said to be present near the massive volcano. The cloud, which measures 915 km in this view, also casts a shadow on the surface.