Dust Storm Threatens Martian Rovers

Space.com is reporting that Martian dust storms could be a bigger problem for the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, than NASA previously believed. One storm covers nearly the entire southern hemisphere of the Red Planet, and is blocking 99 percent of the sunlight from getting through. This is a problem for the long-lasting robots because they're powered by solar panels. The rovers are operating in low-power mode, but if the surface stays dusty long enough, they could run out of juice completely and shut down for good. Even if that does happen, though, they will have long outlasted their original life expectancy.—Gregory Mone

(Image Credit: NASA)