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Emily LakdawallaNovember 13, 2008

Spirit's still there

When Spirit reported ridiculously low power levels on Monday, mission managers scrambled to shut down everything but the most essential systems and told the rover to lay low through the worst of an early season dust storm, not trying to talk to Earth again until today. I am greatly relieved to report that Spirit did talk to Earth as ordered today, indicating that the rover's power situation did not get so bad that a "low power fault" was triggered. The rover's still following instructions, and is still with us, though the power situation is still critical. I'm not sure what Spirit's instructions are now, but the worst of the dust storm has passed so the skies should be clearing. It's possible the storm could have thickened the deposit of dust on the rover's panels. It's not out of the woods by any means, but the situation is less dire than it was two days ago.

Hang in there, Spirit...

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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