Today’s Video of the Day from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) describes a dust storm on Mars that was nearly twice the size of the United States. As the storm covered the southern hemisphere of the planet, some of NASA’s explorers had to delay their normal activities.
NASA’s Insight lander put itself in a “safe mode” for 11 days to conserve battery power because solar power was disrupted by the dust. The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter postponed flights until conditions improved.
“A fleet of NASA orbiters monitor Martian dust storms like this one and serve as lifelines to Earth by relaying data from the rovers and lander on the ground back to the team. This includes the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, and Odyssey,” reports JPL.
“Dust storms like this recent one start close to the ground and are spread by wind as they rise – warming the cold Martian atmosphere.”
The images in the video were captured by NASA’s Curiosity as the dust rolled in. A fleet of orbiters monitored the dust storm from above, relaying data from Mars’ explorers back to scientists on Earth.
Video & Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS