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NASA’s Mars rover Spirit may not survive long

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An artistic impression of Mars rover Spirit. Photo: NASA.

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is facing tough challenges in the harsh conditions of the Martian winter, a media report said.

Mars rover Spirit has been bogged in a sand trap on the red planet for more than a year. NASA has abandoned all attempts of extricating the long-lived rover, rechristening it instead as a stationary probe.

"Our estimation is that Spirit has experienced what is called a low-power fault, where there is not enough energy being produced by the solar arrays to make up for the energy being used by the rover," SPACE.com quoted John Callas, project manager for Spirit and Opportunity at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as saying.

"It will be the miracle from Mars if our beloved rover phones home. It has never faced this type of severe condition before – this is unknown territory,” Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C, said.

According to this space news portal, the rover has entered in a hibernation-mode state on March 22, and while mission controllers are cautiously optimistic about its chances of survival, they still have yet to hear any communication from the rover.

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NASA  Mars  Spirit  
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