(INTELLIHUB) — NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover program has been ongoing since 2004 and incorporates two rovers, the “Spirit,” and the “Opportunity,” both of which have outlasted their planned mission of just 90 Martian solar days.
13-years later, only the Opportunity is still active. But how so? The rover’s solar panels are constantly covered with fine dust from Martian dust storms which routinely envelop the red planet, according to NASA reports.
The official explanation which explains how the rover is still able to operate, according an online encyclopedia, claims that a “cleaning event is a phenomenon whereby dust is removed from solar panels, particularly ones on Mars, by the action of wind. The term cleaning event is used on several NASA webpages; generally the term is used in reference to the fact that Martian winds have blown dust clear off the solar panels of probes on Mars increasing their energy output.”
Does this explanation sound likely to you? Or could someone, or something else be cleaning the rovers panels? Please comment and take the poll.
The #MarsExplorationRover's solar panels are being cleaned regularly by ______________, allowing them to still operate:
— Intellihub (@intellihubnews) July 3, 2017