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Thread: Opportunity Update

  1. #31
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    Is this Oppy's grand finale?

  2. #32
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    Probably depends on where the dust settles.
    It made it through the last big storm, but that was years ago.

  3. #33
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    It might need a few dust devils to clean its solar panels first.

  4. #34
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    Not seeing any reports that the dust is starting to clear - rover operators must be pretty worried about it by now. Poor Oppy
    Last edited by Eadfrith; 2018-Jun-30 at 06:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eadfrith View Post
    Not seeing any reports that the dust is starting to clear - rover operators must be pretty worried about it by now. Poor Oppy
    Tried finding how long the dust storms last - they could take months to settle down

    http://earthsky.org/space/mars-dust-storms-10-things

    Scientists know to expect big dust storms on Mars, but the rapid development of the current one is surprising. Decades of Mars observations show a pattern of regional dust storms arising in northern spring and summer. In most Martian years, nearly twice as long as Earth years, the storms dissipate. But we’ve seen global dust storms in 1971, 1977, 1982, 1994, 2001 and 2007. The current storm season could last into 2019.

  6. #36
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    "Opportunity Mars Rover Still Silent Beneath Raging Dust Storm"

    https://www.space.com/41079-nasa-opp...ust-storm.html

    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.

  7. #37
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    Ugh. "Raging" is not even remotely correct. Dust "storms" on Mars are events where very fine dust is lofted into the upper atmosphere, blocking the Sun. There's probably very little wind on the surface associated with any of it. "Raging" implies that dust is ripping across the surface, sandblasting everything in its path (a la The Martian's incorrect portrayal).

    But yes, it's troubling for Opportunity, isn't it?

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  8. #38
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    "Raging"
    Well, lightning back in 2009.

  9. #39
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    I have searched for an expected end of the massive dust storm, but haven't found any estimate. Has anyone found an estimated end?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I have searched for an expected end of the massive dust storm, but haven't found any estimate. Has anyone found an estimated end?
    Only one I had found was what I posted in post 35 - The current storm season could last into 2019.

  11. #41
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    A month with no contact, they must be getting pretty nervous now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Only one I had found was what I posted in post 35 - The current storm season could last into 2019.
    Thanks for the refresher. We shall see.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Ugh. "Raging" is not even remotely correct. Dust "storms" on Mars are events where very fine dust is lofted into the upper atmosphere, blocking the Sun. There's probably very little wind on the surface associated with any of it. "Raging" implies that dust is ripping across the surface, sandblasting everything in its path (a la The Martian's incorrect portrayal).

    But yes, it's troubling for Opportunity, isn't it?

    CJSF
    Next you'll be trying to tell me nebulae aren't like colourful cumulonimbus clouds that sometimes even have lightning.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Next you'll be trying to tell me nebulae aren't like colourful cumulonimbus clouds that sometimes even have lightning.
    Your pattern indicates 2-dimensional thinking...

    CJSF
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Thanks for the refresher. We shall see.
    Much more positive assessment in the latest report.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-mars-...-calming-down/

    Scott Guzewich, a member of the Curiosity rover team, posted a mission update to a NASA blog on Friday noting a slow decline over the last two weeks in the amount of dust seen over Gale Crater. He says "it's possible the dust storm has reached its 'peak.'"

    "We may now be entering (or soon entering) the period where the massive amount of dust in the atmosphere will slowly settle out and Mars' shrouded surface may once again be clearly visible from space," says Guzewich.

  16. #46
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    The storm is still going strong

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Opp...ilant_999.html

    The dust storm on Mars is continuing as a Planet-encircling Dust Event (PEDE) with no indication of receding at this time.

    The storm has sustained high atmospheric opacity conditions over the Opportunity site for several weeks without any change. There is no indication at this time of the storm abating or clearing.

    Since the last contact with the rover on Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018), it is likely that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, putting herself to sleep only to wake when the skies eventually clear.

    If the atmospheric opacity or the solar array dust factor has gotten worse since the last contact, Opportunity could also experience a mission clock fault.

    Furthermore, the rover uploss timer duration has expired. So, when the rover wakes it will also declare an uploss timer fault. It will be important for the science team to carefully unpack all these fault modes when they proceed with recovery efforts.

    For now, the science team is listening every day for the rover during both the time of low-power and uploss fault communication windows and listening over a broader range of times under mission clock fault.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    I have searched for an expected end of the massive dust storm, but haven't found any estimate. Has anyone found an estimated end?
    NASA's estimate - it could last to September.

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/storm-c...-dusty-secrets

    Luckily, all that dust acts as an atmospheric insulator, keeping nighttime temperatures from dropping down to lower than what Opportunity can handle. But the nearly 15-year-old rover isn’t out of the woods yet: it could take weeks, or even months, for the dust to start settling. Based on the longevity of a 2001 global storm, NASA scientists estimate it may be September before the haze has cleared enough for Opportunity to power up and call home.

  18. #48
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    So maybe 6 weeks. Well, maybe it'll be good news after that.

  19. #49
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    Some observers are reporting a potential subsidence of dust, so maybe things are trending in a good direction?

    https://twitter.com/peachastro/statu...57109151174656

    CJSF
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  20. #50
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    Hope at last the dust storm is settling. But don't hold your breath yet for Opportunity to call home.

    https://www.space.com/41302-mars-dus...ying-down.html

    The dust is finally beginning to clear on Mars, but it'll probably still be a while before NASA's sidelined Opportunity rover can phone home.

  21. #51
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    The dust storm is settling, but will Opportunity wake up.

    http://www.planetary.org/explore/spa...ty-sleeps.html

    As the veteran Mars Exploration Rover (MER) slept in Endeavour Crater’s Perseverance Valley under the thick cloud of dust that has blanketed the Red Planet for the last six weeks, scientists who are studying the monster storm that forced the robot field geologist into its hibernation mode are now reporting the tempest has peaked.

  22. #52
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    Still no call to home but NASA is optimistic.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-optim...zy-dust-storm/

    It's been many long days since NASA's Mars Opportunity rover last phoned home.

    The rover has been quiet since June 10, when a massive planet-covering dust storm cut off its access to solar power. The storm is subsiding and now NASA is playing a tense waiting game to see if the vehicle will come out alive and rolling.

    Opportunity is nearly 15 years old and has long outlived its initial three-month mission plan while continuing to deliver science observations back to Earth.

    While the extended silence is worrisome, NASA says "there's reason to be optimistic." Studies of the rover's batteries before the storm show they were in good health and likely won't suffer much degradation during its time in the dust storm shadows. The temperatures in its location also mean the rover should have stayed warm enough to make it through the stretch of darkness.

  23. #53
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    15 years old without a single finger of maintenance or help in any form, in a not so friendly environment. That's a solid piece of engineering and construction they've made there. And of course, let's not forget the people who used the thing for 15 years without performing any show-stopping oops manoeuvres.

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    Should NASA have installed a broom on an arm for sweeping the dust off the solar panels? Dust devils can't be too dependable.

  25. #55
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    Arm motors would have shorted dead, and killed Opportunity 8 years ago.
    NASA seems to have kept it simple enough to complete its 90 day mission.

    Wakeup playlist: first song.

    I'da gone with:

    "What is this that stands before me?
    Figure in black which points at me
    Turn 'round quick and start to run
    Find out I'm the chosen one
    Oh, no!"

    -FAR more motivating!

    Aug 16 NASA update: Six Things About Opportunity's Recovery Efforts
    Last edited by Squink; 2018-Aug-18 at 07:07 PM.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    15 years old without a single finger of maintenance or help in any form, in a not so friendly environment. That's a solid piece of engineering and construction they've made there. And of course, let's not forget the people who used the thing for 15 years without performing any show-stopping oops manoeuvres.
    I believe there've been a few software updates.
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  27. #57
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    Opportunity call home please - still no signal from Opportunity

    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/No_...clear_999.html

    No signal from Opportunity has been heard. The dust storm on Mars continues to decay.

    There has been no new storm activity within ~1,864 miles (3,000 kilometers) of the rover site. The atmospheric opacity (tau) over the rover is decreasing. As reported previously, it is expected that Opportunity has experienced a low-power fault, and then perhaps, a mission clock fault.
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  28. #58
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    With no call yet from Opportunity, The Planetary Society details NASA's plan to establish contact.

    http://www.planetary.org/explore/spa...portunity.html

    The dust raising power of the storms that wrapped Mars in a cloud in June and July diminished in August, sending all that powdery stuff back down onto the surface of the Red Planet. On Earth, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reviewed recovery plans, conducted additional simulations, and began wrapping the month with newfound reasons to believe Opportunity can emerge from her hibernation.

    Then, on August 30th, NASA and JPL, home to all NASA’s Mars spacecraft, issued a press release announcing that the MER mission would soon begin “a two-step plan to provide the highest probability of successfully communicating with the rover and bringing it back online.”
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  29. #59
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    With all the hope, the evidence looks poor to me. Just my opinion.

  30. #60
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    I saw it noted in my Twitter feed last night that 90 days have gone by since last contact - the length of Oppy's primary mission. How quickly it's gone by, eh? Amazing machine, and if it never awakens or contacts us again, we should celebrate MER's success with a party!

    CJSF
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    A fact is just a fantasy
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    Make a test
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