Tonight at 19:30 Italian time NASA will hold a conference call to explain the recent development of a huge sandstorm that is affecting the site where Opportunity is operating but may soon extend to the entire planet!
At the moment the storm is affecting an area of 41 million square kilometers, the equivalent of Europe and Africa combined.
The latest images of Opportunity, dating back to about four days ago, show us a totally dark environment even in broad daylight, where more than 99.8% of sunlight is blocked by sand in suspension in the air and where it is late night even in broad daylight.
Opportunity then is in very serious trouble, since its functionality depends on batteries that are recharged through solar panels and that if they were to discharge totally could mark the end of its glorious mission.

Participants in this teleconference will be:

John Callas, Opportunity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Rich Zurek, Mars Program Office chief scientist at JPL

Jim Watzin, Mars Exploration program director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dave Lavery, program executive at NASA headquarters for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers

As usual I will do my best to post the recording of the conference as soon as possible.

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