- Status Report
- August 8, 2022
Wanted: Space-Age Dust Removal On Mars
If Mars had an on-line Web site for ads, one of them might say something like this: “Wanted: Gentle space-age dust removal system to clean solar cells without leaving grit behind. Please direct inquiries to NASA.”
NASA’s Spirit rover has accumulated a lot of dust during four years of exploring Mars, especially following last year’s dust storms. Only about one-third of incoming sunlight is able to penetrate dust on the rover’s solar panels to be converted to electricity. As a result, Spirit is experiencing the lowest energy levels to date and accumulating a backlog of data waiting to be transmitted to Earth. The only available cleaning agent would be a timely gust of Martian wind!
Microscopic image credits: