Who’s Cleaning Mars Rovers?
The Mars exploration missions launched in 2003, successfully landing two Rovers — Spirit and Opportunity — on the red planet. The mission’s objective was to search for clues to past water activity on Mars.
Both Rovers were given an expected lifespan of just 90 days due to the notorious dust storms present on the surface. Spirit lasted an incredible 7 years, surviving until 2010, yet mysteriously, Opportunity is still functioning to this day.
This is due to several cleaning events, which over that last 14 years, have been mysteriously cleaning the Rover’s solar panels. Designed to go offline during the night to save energy, it is during these hours that something, or someone, has been helping to keep our Rovers running.