Mars Dust Storm News

Original air date: Wednesday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. PT (1:30 p.m. ET, 1730 UTC)

NASA’s media teleconference discussed a massive Martian dust storm affecting operations of the agency’s Opportunity rover and what scientists can learn from the various missions studying this unprecedented event.

The storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the Red Planet. As of June 10, it covered more than 15.8 million square miles (41 million square kilometers) — about the area of North America and Russia combined. It has blocked out so much sunlight, it has effectively turned day into night for Opportunity, which is located near the center of the storm, inside Mars’ Perseverance Valley.

Participants in the teleconference included:
· John Callas, Opportunity project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
· Rich Zurek, Mars Program Office chief scientist, JPL
· Jim Watzin, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington
· Dave Lavery, program executive at NASA Headquarters for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers

The public can send questions on social media by using #askNASA.
For information about all of NASA’s Mars missions, visit


  1. its a shame these weather maps showing the dust storm are almost as good as Earths weather news. its ironic that they announce their recent findings of organic material and now this storm threat.

  2. Whatever happens and even if the Opportunity mission ends now, it has been one of the most spectacularly successful
    Missions ever. Congratulations to the scientists involved for their magnificent achievement and to the engineers
    For designing a spacecraft that has lasted well over 50 times its minimum intended lifetime in the harsh conditions.

  3. The rover was designed to last 90 days. It has lasted almost 15 years. Now THAT is solid engineering!


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