facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Mars rovers resume some functions

Aug. 28, 2007 at 3:03 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says both of its Mars exploration rovers -- Spirit and Opportunity -- have resumed functions.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said Opportunity advanced 44 feet toward the edge of Victoria Crater on Aug. 21. Mission controllers were taking advantage of gradual clearing of dust from the sky while also taking precautions against buildup of dust settling onto the rover.

"Weather and power conditions continue to improve, although very slowly for both rovers," said John Callas, NASA's rover project manager.

Both rovers had become immobilized when a giant dust storm on Mars cut off their solar energy supply. But no new storms have developed during the past two weeks and scientists said skies above both rovers have started to clear, although the process might take several months since there is a lot of very fine material suspended in the Mars' atmosphere.

The improved sky conditions have enabled Spirit and Opportunity to resume their daily communication schedule. Opportunity had previously been conserving energy by going three or four days between communications.

On Spirit, dust on the lens of its microscopic imager has slightly reduced image quality for that instrument., NASA said.

Topics: John Callas
© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth
2
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
3
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
4
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
5
Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space Astronomers discover worst-smelling comet in space
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback