Complications have befallen the NASA Mars rovers, as one is currently inactive and the other has been besieged by technical difficulties. A rescue mission has been announced for the inactive rover, the Opportunity, and the former, Curiosity, has been temporarily turned off while troubleshooting takes place.
A massive dust storm took out the Opportunity this summer, as the weather blocked sunlight from the rover’s solar panels. NASA still hasn’t detected a response from the rover. Currently, a 45-day rescue attempt is underway to “wake up” the Opportunity. If the rescue mission doesn’t garner a response, it might be the end of the line for the outer space vehicle.
The problems with Curiosity are much more manageable. The rover is not currently storing and sending data correctly, but it has a backup computer and remains partly functional.
The rovers have been a space marvel since they first arrived on Mars, and their trouble staying healthy is a reminder of the planetary wild west NASA seeks to understand.
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