A very hard-working rover fell to the death of the brave"Opportunity", who worked on the Red Planet instead of the planned 90 days as much as 15 years. His solar cells were most likely covered with a thick layer of dust, ultimately depriving the rover of energy. Each spacecraft has its own resource, which, as you might guess, can be quite limited. Space does not spare. For example, earlier we reported that the sports car Ilona Mask sent into space was seriously battered by radiation. However, it should be understood that organic fibers and plastic are used in the construction of the same electric vehicle. Mars rovers are assembled from significantly more wear-resistant materials. Based on this, the question arises: what will happen to the Opportunity rover in hundreds, thousands and millions of years?
As the professor of planetology at the University saysTennessee in Knoxville and Jeff Mursch, a member of the scientific team of the Opportuny rover, honestly admitting that he is not an expert on rover designs, Opportunity also uses a certain amount of plastic elements, for example, in wire insulation. And it may eventually decompose under the action of solar radiation.
“In general, I think the rover will remain in its current state for a long time,” says the scientist.
If one day people can find it, then, to thistime, it may be a little dusty, Mörsch adds. “Once” in this context means that the rover will “wait” for people who set foot on the surface of the Red Planet over the next few hundred years, as NASA plans, the planetologist explains.
According to the scientist, laterRover covered with a thicker layer of dust. Opportunity was able to work on Mars for so long, primarily due to the fact that rather frequent Martian winds constantly blew dust from its sunny ones. But if we are talking about a longer period, then the fate of the rover is not entirely clear. In the end, either the dust that obviously accumulates or the wind that will blow it out will win.
“At the same time, I doubt that the rover will be completely covered with dust,” adds Mersch.
And what will happen to the remnants of this rover throughseveral million years? On Earth, everything old and dead, sooner or later, is buried. But this is due to tectonic processes and the movement of water - factors that are absent on modern Mars. Nevertheless, the rover expects the same fate, said Mörsch.
“If for a long time, meteorites will fall near the remains of the rover, the dust rising from the surface will ultimately hide it completely,” the scientist adds.
If dust accumulates, the rover will turnfossil remains, like dinosaur bones on Earth, and aliens who landed here after millions of years can be seriously surprised to find an ancient artifact of human history.
As part of a press conference dedicated toThe completion of the Opportunity mission, the speakers, explained that NASA does not plan to ever return the rover back to Earth. Sending an expedition specifically for this would be very wasteful in this case, especially since he did his job.
Because people want to settle down on Mars onceMörsch adds, there is a possibility that the rover will ever be found and restored. Maybe someday he will take his place in the Martian Museum, and, perhaps, around the place where he stayed, they will erect a monument or even a national park.
If people do not fly to Mars, Opportunity will remain in place forever. Although the latter option is unlikely. For millions of years, the remnants of the rover can be destroyed by a fallen meteorite.
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