Opportunity Mars rover rescue effort begins as skies clear

The hope is that a Martian dust devil or some similar wind will later blow the panels clean, as happened after a dust storm in 2004. But the real fear is that even if the batteries can recharge, the system may have been permanently damaged by the severe drain. In addition, the dust may have caused mechanical damage to the drive systems, the robotic arm, or the instruments aboard. For the moment, NASA sets Opportunity’s situation as “critical.”

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