NASA Phoenix Mars rover has survived a sandstorm, which caused a temporary drop in voltage across the board due to lack of sunlight. The team continues to explore the northern plains of the Red Planet.
Caused by the storm decrease the transparency of the atmosphere has led to a decrease in the amount of electricity produced by the rover’s solar panels. In the period from 11 to 12 October, scientists and engineers working with Phoenix, refused to perform rover certain actions, such as collecting data from its onboard scientific laboratories.
The sandstorm that covered 37,000 square kilometers, has moved from west to east and is significantly weakened, covered rover on Saturday, October 11. The researchers expected the worst from the storm, but a favorable outcome wiped out all of their concerns.
Now Phoenix redistributes the energy needed in order to analyze soil samples, collect atmospheric data, and conduct other activities before fall and winter stop work entirely Phoenix.
According to scientists, electricity is a problem, and therefore it is necessary to carefully plan his actions.
Phoenix team followed the sand storm on the surface of Mars by analyzing images from the orbiter Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Scientists have calculated that after a Saturday storm will pass through the Phoenix landing site, the amount of dust in the atmosphere for weeks gradually reduced.
This sandstorm - a harbinger of the future of winter weather, windy and more unstable. As we move into late summer, fall, researchers expect more dust storms, frost on the surface of the planet and dense clouds of dry ice in the atmosphere. The team is looking forward to when we can start collecting data about it, "the most interesting season," Red Planet. Today’s news widgets to help you follow the course of the global economy.
Original: Sciencedaily, jpl.nasa.gov