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In June of last year, a gigantic sandstorm took over the red planet. NASA missions on the surface of Mars were all temporarily canceled until the dust settled down, however, one of them does not seem to have fared well from this event - and perhaps today NASA will end it.

Launched in 2003, arriving on Mars in 2004, the mission of the robot Opportunity cost about $ 400 million and its main objectives is to study the Mars rocks as well as the soil of the planet in general and look for signs of past life. The mission already lasted much longer than expected - 90 Martian days. And today, after NASA strives to reactivate the rover, the agency can finalize the communications no longer exist with Opportunity.

Although the sandstorms on Mars are nothing new, it seems that last year's damage was very bad. Other ground missions like the Curiosity rover are powered by nuclear power, which is not the case with Opportunity, which is by sunlight. This way, the dust may have obscured the panels completely and regardless of getting out of their hibernation mode.

Although the idea of ​​a storm so large that covers the entire planet may seem terrifying, due to the thin atmosphere on Mars - only about 1% dense Earth - the winds are not very strong. However, sand can pose a very serious problem for the robot.

NASA will make an announcement later this Wednesday, Feb. 13, announcing the end (or not) of the mission. What is left is to wait for future information. Strength, Opportunity!

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Mars rover Opportunity

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