Mars Rovers Lose Power as Massive Dust Storm Grows

A major dust storm on Mars has worsened and is causing the Mars Exploration Rovers to lose power.
Opportunity’s highly anticipated and risky entry into Victoria Crater is delayed for at least several days, NASA announced.
The regional storm, first reported by, is the most severe to hit the rovers since they began exploring Mars in January 2004. Already last week it was thousands of miles wide. At first, scientists did not expect it to affect rover operations.
But dust from the storm is partly blocking sunlight, which the rovers need in order to recharge their batteries via their solar panels. Opportunity’s operations were scaled back June 30 to conserve power, according to the statement.
“The storm is affecting both rovers and reducing the power levels on Opportunity,” said John Callas, Mars Exploration Rover project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We are keeping an eye on this as we go forward, but our entry into Victoria Crater will be delayed until no sooner than July 13.”