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Friday, November 5, 2004

mars defense forces jumpstart opportunity

according to the october 21 mission status, the opportunity rover is getting more juice than expected – much more.

Since early September, the amount of electricity from Opportunity’s solar panels has increased markedly and unexpectedly, to more than 700 watt-hours per day, a level not seen since the first 10 weeks of the mission.

“We’ve been surprised but pleased to see this increase,” said Erickson, “The team is evaluating ways to determine which of a few different theories is the best explanation.”

Possible explanations under consideration include the action of wind removing some dust from the solar panels or the action of frost causing dust to clump. “We seem to have had several substantial cleanings of the solar panels,” Erickson said.

clark hoskin figured this one out in 1997

posted by roj at 5:51 am