What will become of the lost rover "Opportunity" through millions of years?
Fallen hero's death very hard working rover "Opportunity" has worked on Mars instead of the planned 90 days for 15 years. Its solar panels are likely to become covered with a thick layer of dust, eventually depriving rover energy. Each spacecraft has its own life, which, as you might guess, it may be quite limited. Space does not spare. For example, we have previously reported, that sent into space sports car Elon Musk has been severely battered by radiation. However, it should be understood that the design of the same electric used organic fiber and plastic. Rovers also collected from a much more wear-resistant materials. Accordingly, the question arises: what will happen to the rover "Opportunity" through hundreds of thousands and millions of years?
According to Professor Planetology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a member of the scientific team of the rover "Opportunity" Jeff Morsh, honestly that is not an expert on structures rovers, in the "Opportunity" is also used by a number of plastic components, for example, in isolation wires. And it may eventually decompose under the influence of solar radiation.
"Overall, I think the rover for a long time will remain in the same condition in which it is now," - he says.
If one day people will be able to find it, then, by this time, maybe it's a little covered with dust, adds Morsh. "Once" in this context means that the rover "wait" people who set foot on the red planet in the next few hundred years, NASA's plans, says planetary scientist.
From the words of the scientist, through a later date the rover will be covered with a thick layer of dust. "Opportunity" on Mars was able to work for so long in the first place due to the fact that quite often the Martian wind constantly blew the dust from its sun. But if it comes to a longer period, then the fate of the rover is not entirely clear. In the end, win or dust, which, obviously, will accumulate or wind that will blow her.
"At the same time, I doubt that the rover will be completely filled with dust," - adds Morsh.
And what happens to the remnants of the rover in a few million years? On Earth, all the old and dead sooner or later turns out to be buried. But this is due to tectonic processes and water movement - factors that are not present on Mars today. Nevertheless, the rover will suffer the same fate, said Morsh.
"If for a long time near the remains of the rover will fall meteorites, then rising to the surface of the dust eventually it completely hides under itself", - adds the scientist.
If the dust will accumulate, the rover will turn into a "fossils", like the bones of dinosaurs on Earth, and landed here millions of years the aliens can seriously be surprised to find an ancient artifact in human history.
During the press conference marking the completion of the mission "Opportunity", speakers speakers explained that NASA has no plans to ever return to the rover back to Earth. Send specially for this expedition would be in this case, very wasteful, especially given the fact that his work, he still fulfilled.
Because people want to live on Mars one day, adds Morsh, it is likely that the rover ever still be found and restored. Maybe someday he will take his place in the museum a Martian, or perhaps around the place where he was, erect a monument or national park.
If the people on Mars did not fly, "Opportunity" will remain in place forever. Although the latter option is unlikely. Over millions of years, the remains of the rover can be destroyed by a fallen meteorite.
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