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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  1271 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mars rover Opportunity goes dormant amid huge dust storm

Ill have to find where I read it, but the researchers believe curiosity has a good chance of weathering the storm. Still, I'd consider getting 14 years out of a planned 90-day mission a pretty damn good run.

The crazy thing is that, while highly unlikely, Opportunity could possibly outlive Curiosity since Curiosity has no way of replenishing its battery once the RTG decays (12-15 years). Even after 14 years Opportunity still manages to get an 80% charge on its batteries, so assuming it can survive the storm, I suspect we may have boots-on-the-ground before either rover bites the dust.





rocketyak  ·  1269 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Coming out of the woodwork after being 6ft under in rover work for the last several months.

I think you meant Opportunity in the first paragraph; Curiosity will be fine =) I drove her yesterday. We're re-tracing our steps to go do more drilling, so as long as we can localize ourselves the impact of the dust storm right now on that mission are minimal.

Oppy has -some- chance; she's in a low power state now, but if the ambient conditions are right (not too cold, Tau goes back down sooner than later) then even if she does turn off she has the ability to wake back up.

tacocat  ·  1271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There was a scientist on the radio who said odds are good the rover will pull through, the storm might even be good for it because it's warmed up the temperature and cold temperatures killed the Curiosity rover. But he also compared the morale of the rover team to that of a family with a sick elderly relative. I think the thing was supposed to cruise around for like 90 days and it's lasted something like 14 years. It still has like 80% battery capacity so they're worried but optimistic if it makes it through this

user-inactivated  ·  1271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Slight correction; Sojourner was killed by the cold. Curiosity is alive and well.

tacocat  ·  1271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not sure if I was fully awake when I wrote that